Big shout out to Hot Mess Princess fan Sherry W. for inspiring today’s blog post with the question she posted on my Facebook fan page. Sherry…you eff’in rock!
After I posted that I’d had quite the day from hell, I noted that it wasn’t too long ago that I would have “rewarded” myself at the end of a bad day by ordering a pizza and polishing off a pint of mint chip before bed. At work, I would have spent a small fortune on vending machine crap, then covertly tucked it into a little Starbucks bag (you know, the ones with the rope handle). That way, I looked like I was just taking a dainty little muffin back to my desk instead of two bags of chips, Zingers, a Snickers, a 3 Musketeers, and a bag of stale lemon cookies. Seriously, this fatty’s got smuggling skillz.
I can’t do that anymore. And I won’t do that anymore.
Sherry’s question? “So you still want the crappy food right? What keeps you from just eating it? That is where I struggle.” When I read Sherry’s words, I felt them right down to the bottom of my little Hot Mess heart.
The answer? Yes, I do still want the crappy food. Not all the time, but I get cravings. What I’m learning is that it’s not really me who wants it. It’s the scared little girl in my head. Or a demon…I’m not sure which. Probably like those creepy little girls in The Shining. Remember? First, you’re all “Oh hey! Look at the cute little twin girls in their matching dresses” and then ten seconds later blood pours out of the elevator and you’re all “Nope…nope…those are some scary bitches.” Like that.
I had gastric sleeve surgery to reduce the size of my stomach, but it didn’t exorcise the demon/child. All of that mental bullshit is still between my ears.
There is definitely a wounded, scared creature in my head – and that creature wants me to medicate away my troubles with ice cream and cake and candy bars and Little Debbies. And pizza. That creature has been a dominant, driving force in my life for more than 20 years.
The mature adult in my head (shut up, you guys…there is one)…okay, maybe that’s not the best way to phrase it. Stop laughing. The sassy, kick-ass girl in my head is finally telling the demon/child to shut the hell up. It was the sassy, kick-ass girl who realized last year that if she kept trying to lose weight the same way she always did she was just going to keep failing. It was the sassy, kick-ass girl who had the courage to look in the mirror and face her fears. She put her pride aside and faced facts.
So I had gastric sleeve surgery and my stomach went from being able to hold a whole pizza to being able to hold 1/4 cup of food. Not pizza. Actually, most pizza takes up too much room after two or three bites unless it’s super crispy. Even then, I get almost no nutritional value from it at all…so unless it’s Round Table Pizza (a chain in southern California), it’s just not worth the effort. When I visit family in California, I make sure I stop by for a small slice. And it’s wonderful.
One thing I’ve learned post-op is that most of my old vices are simply not worth it. I have to make sure I get 90 grams of protein in every single day. That’s a challenge with a tiny tummy. As tempting as pizza is, it’s like my first few dating experiences: good at first, but I ultimate get nothing from it but a bad case of gas.
I still go to the vending machine at work, but only for bottled water. I pass by the other machines. I see Pop Tarts, donuts and Bugles out of the corner of my eye. I hear the demon/child in the back of my head. I don’t listen. Gastric sleeve surgery doesn’t prevent me from buying that crap. It doesn’t prevent me from eating that crap. I can eat anything I want to. I can’t eat very much of it, but I can still eat it. I didn’t wake up from surgery with a magic intolerance for sugar or fat. I just don’t eat it anymore.
If I feel temptation now I think back to November. I remember my week long pre-op diet of protein shakes, water, and sugar free jello. I remember being hungry all the time. I remember being tired…and scared of surgery. I remember wanting to throw in the towel a million different times. But I didn’t. Because I was done listening to the demon/child.
I didn’t go through surgery and all that pain in recovery (including the Wet Fart from Hell) to keep holding onto the same destructive habits. I can’t look at myself in the mirror now and tell myself it’s okay to eat crap every day and keep abusing myself with food. I have a world of support behind me between Hot Mess Hubby, my family and friends, my co-workers, my surgeon and his kick-ass staff, and all of you. If I fail now I have only myself to blame…and that’s just not going to happen.
From the moment I wake up, I’m thinking about what nutrition I’m going to put into my body. Nutrition. Not which pastry I’ll get at Starbucks or what ice cream I’m going to eat while watching tv that night. I get up, I make my protein shake, I enjoy it during the news. At work, it’s time for some Greek yogurt. For lunch? A little grilled chicken usually. Then more Greek yogurt…or some string cheese or almonds. Another protein shake when I get home. Then maybe some lean steak or some more chicken. Somewhere in there, I hit 90 grams of protein.
I still go out to dinner with Hot Mess Hubby or my friends. I still eat chocolate (either sugar free or dark). I keep a little bag of sugar free chocolates in my desk at work. I can’t taste the difference between those and the fully loaded real thing – so if I want a little taste of chocolate, that’s what I reach for. The lovely thing about sugar free candy is that eating more than one will bring on an episode of the Hershey squirts so bad that the fear of “blowing mud” in my beige dress pants keeps the demon/child in check. I mean…it’s generally frowned upon in the professional world to walk around the office with a poopy stain on the back of your pants…and I’m trying to get a promotion. I have to be smart about it, yo.
If I’m out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, I sometimes order dessert. Not always. Sometimes. I enjoy all three bites. That’s usually about what I can get down before I get that slightly burpy feeling that tells me I’m done. One more bite after that and I’ll yack up my whole dinner…and nobody wants to see that. I also occasionally dabble in potato temptation. Sometimes you just have to have a good spud. Well, now it’s more like a few bites of a good spud…but those few bites are goooood.
You know what, though? I’ve learned that I don’t need any more than that. I’m perfectly happy with only three bites of dessert…or a little bite of sugar free chocolate…or two buffalo wings. An occasional indulgence relieves the pressure. Even more enlightening, it feels good to make healthy decisions. Really good.
My stomach only holds 1/4 cup of food, but I can just as easily fill it with 1/4 cup of Oreos as I can 1/4 cup of grilled chicken. There’s nothing to stop me from eating crap all day if I want to. I just don’t want to. I’m tired of the demon/child. I want her to shut the hell up. I opted for surgery because I felt it was the only way to stop her.
And I was right. In 4 1/2 months I’ve gone from 383 pounds to 314 pounds. I’ve lost 69 pounds and a lot of emotional baggage. I’m off my blood pressure meds. I haven’t had a migraine since October…and I used to get one or two a month. I’m 15 pounds away from being in the 200′s for the first time in more than ten years.
The sassy, kick-ass chick has put her foot down. Balance is a wonderful thing.
I haven’t written a blog post in almost a month. I’m quite certain this is my personal record for bloggy silence. What the hell is wrong with me?
For those of you who don’t follow my Facebook fan page, I can tell you that I’ve had a number of distractions popping up…including a trip to California to see my family, welcoming my 21 year old niece to Texas, and Kirby the dog’s knee replacement surgery. With everything going on right now I’ve just…lost the drive to write much of anything. I’ve been rendered speechless. Holy crap.
I’ll be back soon, I promise. I didn’t want anyone to think my blog has “gone dark”. I love this blog…and I love connecting with all of you. I’m just a little overwhelmed right now. Don’t go think’in I’m off in a corner somewhere with a box of Little Debbies. I promise I’m not!
Just FYI, I’ll be doing some maintenance on my website today…so if you happen to click over and see that it’s down, please don’t think I’m huddled in the corner with a pint of mint chip.
I’ll be back soon!
This just in from the OMG department:
I don’t have a lot of time this afternoon and I don’t want to dally around with this post because I’m just too flipp’in excited about it…so I’m gonna give it to you just like you like it: quick and dirty.
I had my 3 month follow-up appointment at my surgeon’s office today and suffice to say…I rock. I was weighed and measured today and they explained my lab tests to me. I’ve lost 61 pounds, this we know thanks to the lovely little ticker on the upper right of the screen. Here are the stats on my measurements:
I’ve lost an inch off my neck. My neck!!!
3.5 inches off the boobs. (Sorry, Hot Mess Hubby!)
3/4 inch off my bicep
1.25 inches off my wrist
7 inches off my waist!!!!!!!!!!! Holy crap!
7.5 inches off my hips!!!!!!!!!! OMG, someone catch me…I’m gonna lose my shit.
1.25 inches off my gigantic thigh. Shrink, you bastards!
And .5 inch off my calves
That’s 21.75 inches of weight loss fun…and I can’t contain my happy dance any longer.
Un-freaken-believable. Err…un-be-sleevable!!! Thank you, Gastric Sleeve!!!
Notes from the Nurse Practitioner for the future: I’m to consume 90 grams of protein per day (my previous goal was 80) and I’m to begin upper body resistance training. Totally do-able.
I also promised those of you who have liked my Facebook fan page that I’d share the latest NSV (Non-Scale Victory) with you…
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of sitting down to lunch with two long-time fans of my blog who happen to live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We met at the restaurant and, as we were following the hostess to our table, I realized I’d forgotten to whisper “Can we have a table…not a booth please?” to the hostess. So of course the hostess leads us to a booth and I’m horror struck for a few seconds.
Oh great, I hear myself say in my head. This will be one for my memoir. I’m about to get my four asses stuck in a booth in front of two of my blog fans. Shit.
Except I didn’t get stuck. Because I don’t have four asses anymore…I only have three. I could have danced around the entire restaurant, but that probably would have been a little much to spring on Crystal and Denise. I’ll save it for next time.
Peeps, I can’t tell you how flipp’in happy I was. I can’t remember exactly how long it’s been since I’ve been able to fit in a booth but I can say it’s been about 7 years. Ridiculously too long. And you know what? They feel much better on my three remaining asses than those awful hard chairs. Rock’in!
I’m sure there are some booths I still won’t fit in, but I don’t give a crap. I fit in this one. Seriously awesome.
I’ll leave you with this picture of us at the restaurant. It was very cool to finally be able to meet these two awesome chicks after enjoying their comments on my Facebook fan page and blog for so long (not to mention their private messages, which are pretty damn entertaining as well)!!!
It was an honor for my three asses to share a booth with their considerably smaller asses. ♥
I know, I know, I know…if you’ve never been a super fatty you’re probably not going to understand this at all. But if you are or have been a super fatty or if you’re just super awesomely empathetic, you get this. And I love you for it.
Just a few short months ago, putting my shoes on meant sitting on the couch and propping my leg up on the cushion in order to be able to reach my foot. I couldn’t change my shoes at work…ever. I couldn’t lean over far enough to reach my feet because there was too much me in the way.
Now it’s 3 1/2 months later and I’ve lost 61 pounds…and being able to reach my damn feet is just the latest in a fabulous chain of awesome NSV’s (that’s Non-Scale Victories to those of you not in-the-know). If you’ve just stumbled across my blog recently, here are some of the highlights over the past 3 1/2 months:
Fitting into my blue jeans again!
No more blood pressure meds!
No more migraines!
Being able to trust my farts again (click here to see why that’s important…if you dare!)
Dropping my first size!
Losing 50 pounds!
By the way, as a special treat for hitting the 50 pounds lost mark I decided to celebrate by getting myself a little something special: a silver Pandora bracelet and charm. I love the idea of celebrating my milestones by adding charms to my bracelet…and I chose a cute little mirror as my first charm. Why?
Because the mirror isn’t such a scary thing anymore.
Just to add a little visual impact, here’s a picture of 383 pound me at a work function last November. To protect the dignity and identity of the Vice President I was posing with, I’ve cleverly disguised him as Robert Downey Jr.
I’ve come a long way…and I’m really quite proud of myself. After over 20 years of struggling with my weight and food issues, I’m so grateful that I finally had the courage to change and embrace the wonderful tool that gastric sleeve surgery is. It’s such a lot of work, but it’s such an amazing tool if you’re really ready for it. You can’t sit back and let the surgery do the work for you or you’re not going to learn anything and you’re going to end up gaining it all back. I’m proud to say that I started making dramatic, permanent changes to my life long before they wheeled me into that operating room.
My life is so wonderfully different than it was before surgery. I’ve given up fast food, sugar, and diet soda. I no longer obsess over calories, fat, and carbs. My life is all about protein and eating healthy. I drink water. And I exercise. This is work, but it’s wonderful work. It’s life changing…and I’m really quite proud of the bad-ass I’m becoming.
Sure, I still have a long way to go. I’ve lost 61 pounds but I was more than 200 pounds overweight when I started this. Thanks to gastric sleeve surgery, I know for the first time in my Hot Mess life that I’ll get there. This tool simply eliminates my ability to screw myself up by overeating. That’s all it does. It’s not a magic pill or a miracle cure. It doesn’t make me magically not want cookies or french fries. It doesn’t make me allergic to fatty, unhealthy foods. I can eat anything I want to…if I want to. But I don’t. Because once I made the decision to have surgery, I started to grow up. (And really…once you put yourself through that whole surgery ordeal you’ve got to be bat-shit cray to chase it down with french fries and ice cream, right?)
I’m learning to make peace with food. I’m following the advice of my awesome surgeon and my fabulous nutritionist: if I really want something, I have it. A taste of it. I eat my protein first and then I really only have room for a couple of bites of whatever it is. A couple french fries. Two bites of cake. A cookie. Those things aren’t harmful if you just have a bite or two every once in a while. Hell, even Jennifer Aniston eats cookies. See? I eat just like Jennifer Aniston. I freak’in rock.
And just for the hell of it here’s what effing awesome looks like one more time:
I’m not the only one either. I know you’re effing awesome too…so tell me how by leaving a comment. I’m all ears. And a lot of butt still.
Because some things take more time than others.