Friday, December 10, 2010

Catching up...

Wow… I know I said I would blog more and honestly, I have blogged a thousand times in my head.  It’s finding the time to put it “on paper” that seems to be the issue. 

Since last we were together …

I made it through Thanksgiving and a week a travel and managed to lose 7 lbs.  I am excited about that.  It’s weird.  I know I’m still big but I am shrinking.  Noticeably shrinking and it feels awesome.  I don’t think about food like I did before.  It’s not my main focus and I really am enjoying that aspect of life. It’s going to be a long journey I know, as there are days when I want to eat like there’s no tomorrow.  Let’s explore that, shall we?

So, on Thanksgiving, I knew that I would never be able to stick to my 1200 calorie limit and accepted and allowed myself the pleasure of eating and forgiving and I would be better the next day.  It was going to be OK.  So we get up in the morning and start the cooking.  I planned ahead and bought a yogurt to eat in the morning.  I didn’t nibble as much during the day as we cooked and when the time came to finally feast on all the yumminess we had fixed, I was starving.  So, the old me kicked in and I fixed one huge plate, like I always do.  In the back of my head was the little voice saying, you dummy, you had surgery and will never eat all that so STOP IT… Me being of sound mind, promptly ignored the little voice and kept going.  Well, little voice was right and I got about ½ through the meal and started to feel full.  But again, I ignore the little voice telling me to stop eating and keep going (see the pattern here?).  I got maybe 3 more bites in and realize, crap, I hurt.  So this must be what they warned me about that 1 bite could be over the limit and make me miserable.  I really must start listening to that damn little voice.  I ended up giving the remaining portion of my meal to the dog, who was happy as could be and I sat around most of the afternoon in pain.  I didn’t eat anything again that day until we were one our way to Charlotte.  I had a little snack and then ate a grilled cheese sandwich around midnight.

The rest of the weekend, I listened to the little voice and pushed away from the table when I was full. 

The next week brought me to Houston.  I was proud of myself for going to the gym at least once while I was away (exercise will be another blog).  I made the healthiest choices I could while on travel.  Sad news reached me while I was in Houston that my Uncle Charlie had been admitted to the hospital and wasn’t expected to make it.  I was so very torn.  I wanted to try to get home to say goodbye but was in a class work had paid for.  Even if I had tried, I wouldn’t have been able to make it home.  His body simply gave out and he was gone.  The news really hit me hard because it was a reminder that my Daddy is really pushing the limits and won’t be around forever.  The realist in me knows that Daddies don’t live forever, but the little girl in me says, YES THEY DO…

So from Houston, I came home for a day and then left for a couple days in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  I was happy to be there to support my Aunt Maggie and Cousins, Robin and Ruth.  It was good medicine to be there with them and to lend a supporting shoulder but at the same time, be the baby cousin again.  Funny how time has changed me and how much more I love to observe people more and more.

I mean this in a good way.  Every family has their dysfunctions.  That’s human nature.  I’ve always wondered about the dynamics in other branches of our family.  Spending time with my cousins and talking made me realize our two branches weren’t that different.  It is somehow comforting to know.  It was so neat to see my sister Marie and cousin Robin reminiscing about their childhoods.  They have memories of my daddy and uncles and Gram that I’ll never have.  They reminded me that we did have a lot of good times in this family even though we have had our own tragedies as well.  They reminded me that we come from a long line of strong women.  That in itself made my spine a little stronger and pushed me to keep reaching for my goals.

So, here’s what I’ve accomplished since the last blog in November.

Highest recorded weight was 315
Highest recorded weight at Dr. Long’s office was 312

Recorded weight this week at home (that’s 1st thing in the morning and naked) was 267
Recorded weight at Dr Long’s (with clothes and after lunch) 269.

Difference at home 48 lbs
Difference at Dr’s 43 lbs.

I like those numbers.  I will really begin to celebrate after I hit the 73 lbs mark.  That will mean I am losing new weight.  Not weight that I lost and regained only to have to lose again.  I celebrated this week by wearing clothes I haven’t worn in two years.  I LOVE IT!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Miscellaneous thoughts

I have so much in my head that I want to write about and I want to say about my journey…
About the cause of why I got so heavy (well, duh, I love food) but I also used food as my drug of choice.   About everything that’s ever happened to me.  It’s not all about weight loss for me in this blog.  It’s about writing down things that have bothered me, or hurt me, this is my chance to get it out and maybe just maybe let go of past hurts.
I wasn’t always fat.  Up until about the 5th or 6th grade, I was average.  Maybe a little thick but not like I am now and not like I see kids around that age now.  I hate to see young children who have belly rolls at such a young age.  It breaks my heart because I know the pain they are going to feel  as they get older and are limited because of their size.   I feel for them because they won’t try new things and some, not all will be social outcasts.  The stronger ones will not let anything stop them.  The weaker ones will become prey to bullies, be discriminated against and will lead sad lives – always doubting themselves and never trying new things or even daring to dream that they can be happy.
 I have been very lucky.  Other than the incident at Busch Gardens I haven’t really been limited or afraid to try things.  I am very grateful for the way God proportioned my flab.  I wasn’t big in just the belly and I wasn’t exactly round.  I had curves and when I lost enough, I had an hour glass figure.  My sister told me the other day she’s always been jealous of my body shape.  Are you kidding me?  I always wanted to be her because even when she was heavy she had the best legs around.  Not the thunder thighs I’ve been strapped with.  I was also blessed with a decent looking face and pretty eyes, not to mention big boobs.  Although I’m not sure if big boobs are a blessing or a curse.  I guess it depends on who you ask.  When you’re younger and the boys make comments (and starting in 6th grade there were comments) then they are a curse.  When you get older and realize how powerful they are, you learn to use them to your advantage and they are a blessing J
I really don’t remember being discriminated against either for my size.  I had only one incident in Ocean City where I really wanted to just die.  Tony and I were getting on the TRAM and it was really crowded.  The people in his row moved over for him to fit.  The woman in my row wouldn’t even look at me.  She turned her back to me and put her purse by her side so I didn’t have enough room to really sit.  I hung off the side of the TRAM the entire ride.  I was devastated.  I was a lot younger then.  Now if that were to happen, I’d probably say something and push my way on.  Back then I didn’t have the confidence to do that.  That one incident though has created my fear of sitting next to people on public transportation or in doctor’s offices and things like that.  Sounds silly, doesn’t it?  But, I will not sit next to anyone on Metro or buses if they are there first.  If the seat is empty and I sit there and then someone chooses to sit next to me than fine.  But if someone is already there, I won’t take an empty seat.  I will stand.  There’s nothing like that look of fear when they see a larger person enter.  Talk about deer in the headlights.  Yo people, being fat and large is NOT a contagious disease.  Get a grip.  Us brushing against you will NOT make our fat rub off on you.  I promise.

My first fill - Status update

I had my first band fill this week.  I was very nervous about it. But, I've recently made contact with an old friend who has had the band for 3 years and with his help and advice, calmed myself down.  It wasn't so bad.  I didn't feel the needle at all (good thing) but did feel the nurse removing the air and then putting the saline solution in.  That is a very weird feeling for sure.  I did have pain at the puncture site, but for the most part it went well.

What I wasn't so happy about is that I hit a plateau weight loss wise.  The doctor did warn me but it still ticked me off.  It just means I have to buckle down and exercise more. 

So my stats so far, I am down to 277.8 by the doctors scale and 274.8 by my scale.  (I like mine better) So I'm hovering around 40 lbs gone so far.  I took my measurements and I'm down over 6 inches all over.  I'll take that for sure.

So, more exercise and less food.  I can and will do this.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Miscellaneous Story - 1

My promise to get better and blog more often has been swallowed by the time I spend working and trying to be everything to everyone… I know, how’s that working for me? Well, it’s not.
My first post-op appointment was amazing.  According to the doctor’s “official” scale I weighed 277.  Which is ok, considering I was wearing jeans and all and when I weigh in at home, I’m naked.  It’s still a good number.
During this appointment, he released me to go ahead and eat soft foods.  I have never been so happy in my life as to be able to actually eat something besides liquid protein shakes and broth.  He said not to worry about calories right now while I heal.  After my first fill he’ll start being stricter.  As many of you know because I posted it on face book, you do NOT tell a fat girl to not worry about calories.  EVER!!!  That’s how I got here in the first place, right? Not worrying about calories.  And he told me to be prepared because the scale may go up a pound or two because I’ll be eating again.  I don’t like that thought.  I want to go down not up.  WTH?  I have gained a couple pounds but am holding steady at 276.4 on my nekkid scale.
Now that the time change is upon us, getting exercise is going to be hard.  I know I need to move more.  I feel horrible when I don’t.  But trying to find the time for me becomes so hard during the day at work and then when I get home, I’m tired and it’s dark and there’s more work and stuff to do.  I really really need to focus more.  I want this to be successful more than anything right now.  I can’t go back to the old me. 
So, as I mentioned on face book the other day, I want to celebrate the little things right now.  My little accomplishments, like fitting into clothes that have been hanging around waiting for me to lose weight.  That’s the best feeling.  Plus I got to go ride go-carts.  I haven’t been in a go-kart in probably 25+ years.  I had a blast.  I’ve been afraid to try ever since I had my “life’s most embarrassing moment” at Busch Gardens about 7-8 years ago.  I’ve been too afraid.  What happened you ask?  Well…
Tony and I went with another couple to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  We had free tickets, thank God.  I love roller coasters and really was looking forward to riding a few rides.  It was hot as blazes.  We go to Chariots’ Fire and they are nice enough to have a seat on the outside of the line so you can see if you’ll fit before waiting in line.  I tried, I didn’t fit and I moved on.  So we went on a couple other rides and made our way over to the Alpinegiest ride.  Our friends tell us I will definitely fit on this one because they have a lane designated for larger people with bigger chests.  We wait about an hour in line and I’m so excited.  We get in the specially designated line and as we approach they fail to tell me I need to be on the inside seats.  I get in the row first and try to squeeze me into the ride and I don’t fit.  I try again and nope, not happening.  I was humiliated.  That’s when I hit rock bottom.  I panic and run off the ride in horror.  Tony and my friends go on the ride.  At that moment I have never felt so alone in my life.  I had become in my mind the fat lady at the circus.  And I didn’t like it. But I continued to eat.
A few months later, Tony’s cousin died and we had to go to the funeral.  I went to the closet to my go to black dresses that always fit.  I wait until the day before the viewing to try them on and they don’t fit.  I was horrified.  Now what?  I had to go to Fashion Bug and buy new clothes; only I was almost too big for Fashion Bug’s largest size.  How could I have let myself go so much?  I had just joined weight watchers and vowed I would lose the weight.  I would be one of those ladies in their magazine and I would show the world that I was not the fat lady in the circus any more…

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Weekend

Hello again… I really need to get better at blogging more often because I do feel so much lighter when I blog.  Imagine, all that I write here is what goes on in my head all the time. It’s like a never ending real to real tape that just keeps playing over and over again.  That might explain why I’m always scatter brained, huh?

So, what’s happened since I wrote the last time?  So much.

Last weekend was Halloween weekend.  Friday Tony and I had the day off so we decided to go to Fredricksburg and walk around.  As we were about to leave, I bent to tie my shoes and something felt funny in my stomach muscles. Stubborn me doesn’t tell him I am in pain and stupid me doesn’t think to grab any pain reliever.  We spent the day walking around and I’m in severe pain.  We finally find a little convenience store and I get some Tylenol and that helped a little bit.  I got to go to my favorite spice store so all was good.

We were planning to go to Goosebay and hang out with Susan and the gang.  I didn’t want to be left out of the dressing up part and remembered that my friend Dawnlee had a 50s costume that I might be able to borrow.  Dawnlee is smaller than me so in my mind it was a long shot to have the costume fit, but it was worth trying.  Even better was she would be in LaPlata so I could pick up the costume without really going far.  I brought the costume home and with crossed fingers, tried it on.  OMG, it fit! It was a 2X and it was just a bit snug, but it fit.  Am I really down to a 2X in some stuff? Can’t be… Really? Dare I hope that I really am getting back to where I was 3 years ago? We had a blast dancing and handing out candy Saturday.

The other good thing that happened to me on Saturday is that an old friend I had lost touch with called me out of the blue to ask about the surgery and to find out more information about it.  This friend is someone who I didn’t treat very well a few years ago and I have been living with a guilt on the way I treated her for the past 2 years.  She did nothing wrong to me to make me treat her that way other than really want to be my friend.  She looked up to me and she had her own problems, but rather than help her with them or be really open with her about me, I hooked up with another “mean girl” and basically treated like crap and piled on to the rest of the crap that went on in her life.  TO THIS FRIEND… I WILL AGAIN SAY I AM VERY VERY SORRY.  After our talk on Saturday, I feel relieved that you still even want to be friends and look up to me.   I am so proud of your accomplishments and feel things happen for a reason.  Maybe I wasn’t ready to be a good friend back then and I am now.  Who knows.  But now that I’ve written about it, I will forgive myself since it seems you have forgiven me.

Sunday, I had two good friends stop by and visit to just see how I’m doing.  I also had Tony bring down my winter clothes so I could go through them and see what fit and didn’t.  All I can say is I am so glad I’ve lost weight because I’m not sure my winter clothes would have fit very well and I would be looking to buy new stuff.  Well, I’ll be looking for sure as I am losing weight and the big sweater look isn’t all that attractive anymore.  I don’t feel like I need to hide my curves because they are curves again and not bulges. 

As of this morning, I am down 40 lbs from my highest recorded weight of 315.  I am 275 as of today and so very excited.  I go to my first post-op appointment tomorrow and am very excited.

More later…

Friday, October 29, 2010

One week post surgery... Down 36 lbs

So, I am one week out from surgery and feel really amazing.  It has been 3 weeks since I’ve eaten any solid food.  What I hear from family and friends is they can’t believe I stuck to it.  I’m pretty surprised myself to a point, but what choice did I have?  The doctor said I had to do it to shrink my liver and quite frankly, I’m just now getting my appetite back since the surgery so it really wasn’t so hard after the 1st couple of days.

The surgery… what a day.  Tony and Dave kept me laughing all morning so I wouldn’t be so nervous.  God bless them because I was really scared.  I weighed in that morning at 282.  Which meant I had lost 30 lbs on my own before even having the gastric banding.  Some people even asked why I was doing the band if I showed so much success.  Well, guys, I had incentive and once the incentive goes away and people start accepting you at the smaller side and they stop commenting on how good you look, it gets really hard to maintain.  I know because I did this before with weight watchers when I lost 72 lbs.  Anyway, I digress… my surgery went well.  Less than an hour so they tell me.  I woke up in a lot of pain so the recovery nurse gave me Delauded and that’s when the fun started.  My already normally low blood pressure crashed to 50 over something and they had to pump me with fluid to flush the drug out and to get my pressure back up.  What was supposed to be a 1-½ hour stay in recovery turned into a 4-hour ordeal.  I didn’t care that much.  I was sleeping.  But, Tony and Dave were left to wonder what the hell was going on because no one told them what was happening.  I felt bad for them.  I finally got to a room and spent most of the night listening to the crazy neighbor next to me coughing and crying all night.

Friday dawned a gorgeous day.  I passed my upper GI test.  I was now the proud owner of a Realize band and the fluids were passing successfully through the band.  I could order my bariatric diet breakfast.  So I got to eat broth and popsicles and a protein shake for breakfast.  WOOHOO.  Tony, Dave and Carolyn came to get me and home I went to rest.

I put in for leave for the entire week following my surgery.  I told everyone that if I felt up to it, I would log in part days and stay up to date on my projects and email.  Well, you know what? I didn’t.  I have enjoyed this week to myself so much.  I didn’t really rest because I have so much energy.  I was able to get caught up on housework that I have been neglecting for so long.  The house looks good, I feel good but I am nervous as to how long all of these good feelings will last. 

My journey has just begun.  I have so much more to look forward to and things that are going to happen.  I am trying to take things one at a time and one day at a time. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Day Before Surgery

So, I’m one day out from surgery and really starting to feel anxious.  I broke down last night and just cried.  I’ve been a little snappy at the people in my life and I truly don’t mean to be.  I just feel very alone right now.  I have some of the most supportive people in my life.  My sisters are the absolute best.  They love their baby sister and only want the best for me and want to see me healthy and happy.  I have some very close friends who are very excited for me.  I try to remain strong and put on a brave face, when inside I really am a nervous wreck.  

Through my blog, I am hoping to ease some of doubts I have and use this as my way of saying things I don’t normally say outloud.  Kind of put it on paper and then let it go therapy.  I will probably bounce around a lot as things come to mind. 
I know the surgery was my decision to make and I’m very happy that I am doing this.  But I’m also scared because I doubt my ability to stand up for myself and make the choices that will help me get to my goals.  I talked to a good friend yesterday and I said I never set goals and work towards them. It’s one of the things I really hate about me.  I’m horrible with follow through.  So he gave me a homework assignment to write down my top 10 goals and send them to him.  He would help me make sure I get there.  So I’ve been trying t think.  What are my top 10 goals in life?  No one has ever really asked me that.  

I’ve never really thought about goals before.  Sure, you say things like, I’m going to lose 10 lbs or I’m going to exercise every day.  But do you really reach them?  Some people do.  I envy those who set the bar at some level and reach it.  I have never been that strong.  Am I afraid of being happy with something?  Don’t know.  Something to really think about.  What would make Cheryl happy?  What does Cheryl want?  Not really sure yet, but I’m aiming to find out.
This is all for now.  I’m sure I’ll write more later.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Journey Begins

Welcome to my new blog... thanks to the help of an awesome friend, I have decided to begin a blog/journal of my struggles with being over weight and my journey to become healthy through gastric banding surgery. 

I hope that my journal will help others understand me better.  Who knows, I might even help someone work through their own issues with what I write.

So, step on up.. sit down, fasten your seat belts, keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times... and enjoy the ride.  I KNOW I will...