Sometimes I hate change…and sometimes I love it. The past two years have been amazing for me, filled with lots of change, contemplation and quite a few humbling moments. I’m going through one of those humbling moments right now. I hate that shit.
I’ve always gauged my weight loss progress with a scale. Always. It took me a long time to be able to use the scale as a tool instead of a weapon of self-loathing. I weigh 270 pounds right now and I can honestly tell you that I can get on the scale every day and look at that number and not hate myself. Actually, it’s more than that. I get on the scale every morning and love myself. If that number goes up a pound or two for water weight, I don’t care. I’m a woman. That’s what happens. I don’t attach emotion to the scale…or at least not like that.
I am, however, too attached to my scale and I don’t want to admit it. Okay, I just did admit it. But I’m fighting that admission. I’ve been fighting the change I know needs to happen.
A few weeks ago, I had my one year follow-up appointment at my surgeon’s office. Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while are probably thinking “Wait…what?” You’re right: it hasn’t been a year. It’s been a year and a half, actually. My work schedule kept getting in the way of my appointments and I had to keep bumping them. So finally I’ve had my one year follow up. Better late than never.
I was a little apprehensive about it, honestly. I had an amazing first year. 113 pounds lost. 7 sizes in clothes gone. I feel fucking amazing. And then I broke my gallbladder 10 months in…and everything slowed to an agonizing crawl. I dropped one more size, bringing the total to 8 sizes…but I’m still crawling.
Ever since the crawling started, there’s been a little voice in the back of my head that’s been saying “Maybe this is it. Maybe this is all I’m going to be able to do.” Even worse, I was fearful that I would get to my one year follow-up appointment and the people who have done such an amazing job supporting me would be disappointed. I was afraid that they would suggest I needed to go back in for a revision from gastric sleeve to gastric bypass because my gastric sleeve surgery had done all it could do. Well, that’s not what happened.
As usual, the whole team was happy to see me. I don’t meet with my surgeon anymore… because I don’t need surgery. My support team consists of a nurse practitioner, a nutritionist, and an exercise specialist…and they’re all awesome.
Sharon, the nurse practitioner, went over my lab results with me. All great. Alex, the exercise specialist, took my measurements and went over my inches lost. Fabulous. And Amy, my nutritionist, had a look at my daily food log and gave me her input. I’m doing awesome. The whole time, I’m thinking “Why am I stuck at 270 pounds then???”
So I did the unthinkable: I asked.
I’ve never met Alex the exercise dude before. He’s new. Like everyone at my surgeon’s office, he’s sincerely invested in helping me get to my goals. He’s not full of all that schmoozy motivational bullshit lingo we all see on tv. He’s real. So I decided to share my concerns with him over being stuck at 270…and he told me I need to stop worrying about what the scale says and start watching the tape measure.
Well….shit. The tape measure moves like an effing snail, Alex. C’mon!!!
But I know he’s right. I can feel it. Especially since I want to argue about it. I want to lash out and punch it. I want to scream to the sky “It’s not fair!!!” Oh yeah…he’s right. I’m looking at this all wrong. All wrong.
I remember when I first had my gastric sleeve surgery. Eating was a whole new adventure for many reasons. I had to re-learn so much. Hunger was gone (and still is). I couldn’t even eat 1/4 cup of anything at first. I had many strict rules about what I could put in my stomach as it was healing. It was really overwhelming, but I got through it. It was eye opening and it was FUN.
I know I’ll grow once I’m on the other side of this, but I can feel myself fighting it tooth and nail. And I don’t know why I’m fighting it…because this is just the exercise version of what I already went through with food. Just like the past year and a half, this is going to be weird at first. I’ll have to follow strict rules at first while I create all the new habits I’m going to have. It’s going to be overwhelming at first, but I’ll get through it. It’ll be eye opening…and fun. Sound familiar?
I know I should embrace it, but I’m struggling against a primal urge to sit in a corner and pout like a two year old. Sometimes I amaze even myself with my stubborn pig-headedness.
The only thing I can think to do right now is to cling to the ritual of it all. Alex gave me a workout schedule, which I tried for the first time last week. If you follow me on Facebook, you saw my daily morning updates on what my exercise goals were. It was 10% fun, 30% overwhelming, and 60% weird. I know it won’t always feel that way. It’s a change thing. It’s a growing thing. It’s a whole frigg’in hot mess thing.
I’m also (and I cringe as I type this) putting away the new Mr. Scale for awhile. I need to embrace the idea of letting the tape measure and my own clothes tell me whether I’m making any progress. When my clothes feel loose, I’ll drag out Mr. Scale and see what’s up.
So…how about you? Have you ever been faced with change that felt clunky and weird and overwhelming, but you knew you had to do it? Tell me how you did it…maybe it’ll help me or one of our fellow hot messes. I’m going to grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and relish the wisdom in your comments…so let me hear ya!