Category Archives: Attitude Adjustment

My glass is always half full, peeps!

So…this happened.

 photo stress fracture june 2016_zpszo49usxq.jpg

Yes, folks, this is the sixth stress fracture I’ve had in 12 years. You read that right: SIXTH. This is what happens when I finally get up enough resolve to start working out again. Although this specific type of injury is directly related to me stomping around with 100+ extra pounds on my body, in my defense I’ve had foot problems since I weighed less than 100 pounds soaking wet. My feet have always been assholes. They just have it in for me.

I thought my feet might be super happy about the 116 pounds I’ve already lost, but no. They’re pouty jerks who just don’t want me to walk. At least not for fitness. And, because of that, I found myself recently realizing that I’m sort of being an idiot about this. I keep doing the same damn thing:

  • Avoid exercise because I hate it
  • Feel guilty about not exercising, but do nothing about it
  • Admit I need to exercise, but still do nothing about it
  • Start wondering what kind of an idiot I am for not exercising and try to make myself want to do something about it
  • Finally work up the will to exercise, hate every damn minute of it
  • Actually get into a groove and start making it a habit, get a stress fracture and can’t exercise anymore

You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Yeah, I’m a bloody genius, right? Well, I’ve already fixed the issue…but you’ll have to wait for the next blog post to find out how. Suffice to say it has a lot to do with self-acceptance in the face of un-hidable cottage cheese thighs.

Obviously I went to the podiatrist, who took x-rays and determined what I already limped in there knowing: stress fracture. I’d brought the extremely expensive boot that I got about 3 stress fractures ago so that he could approve it, which he did. But then he did something I didn’t expect. He started checking out my cankles.

I don’t have ankles. My calves just disappear into my shoes. Calves + ankles = cankles. I hate it. It’s uber embarrassing, but I’ve always believed I’ll see my real ankles again once I lose enough weight. In my experience, the smallest parts of the body are the ones that lose weight the slowest…so my giant tree stump cankles weren’t setting off any alarm bells.

According to my podiatrist, it’s a hereditary condition that should not be “this bad” in someone as young as me. While, I wanted to hug him for the young comment, I totally freaked about the hereditary thing. Like…what? I may not get rid of this? These cankles might haunt me forever? Screw that, dude! I have dresses to wear someday. Don’t I? Please??

My mother is a petite little thing, as was my maternal grandmother…but my maternal grandfather’s mother (keep THAT straight in your head if you can) was a BIG woman. BIG. And quite mean from what I hear. Like Jerry Springer talk show guest mean. Like throwing knives at her grandkids mean. She wore men’s house slippers because her giant feet couldn’t fit into regular shoes – and she had to slit them with scissors in order to get them around her cankles.

Great. I’ve inherited my great grandmother’s cankles of evil.

What’s worse, my doctor prescribed… *sigh* …compression socks. Yep. Old lady compression stockings/socks. That’s exactly the image that I get when I hear the term “compression socks”: some little fat old lady in a house coat, shuffling through the kitchen looking for cheese and miscellaneous snacks.

I’ll do whatever I need to for my health, but honestly…this was kind of a dick punch to my pride. Not that my pride would have a dick because I’m pretty sure my pride is a girl since I’m a girl. But maybe my pride identifies as a…oh, fuck, never mind. It hurt a little. That’s all I’m saying.

I had to go to a special pharmacy to get measured for them. *sigh* I did it, though, and I have to admit…my cankles are smaller at the end of the day when I remove the…things.

*sigh*

When I remove the compression socks.

I really hate the old lady image that pops in my head whenever I say it, though, you guys! I hate it!! It festers and tortures me more than Taylor Swift grates on that dillhole Kanye. I’m torn between the horror of my cankles and the amazing cozy socks that hug my cankles and calves into submission. The cankles must be stopped…and so…

I hereby declare that compression socks will forever be know as SPANKLES!!!!

When you think about it, compression socks are really just SPANX for your cankles, right? You know I’m right! We don’t say “compression underpants”, do we? No. Because that sounds like something you need an air hose or special permit for. We say SPANX. Well…I’m not calling my special cozy socks anything that doesn’t say how awesome they are.

From now on, when people stop me and say “Hey, HMP, where’d you get those super awesome cozy socks?” (Because you know they will…). I’ll reply “Oh THESE? These are my SPANKLES!”

This shit’s totally catching on faster than jeggings, peeps. Mark. My. Words.

SPANKLES: this year’s hottest Christmas gift. You’re welcome.

My eff’in glass is always half full…preferably with Rumchata.

A Different Kind of Shrinking

So for the past few weeks I’ve been really pushing towards making exercise a habit…and it really pisses me off. And that really surprises me. Whenever I start thinking about exercise I cease being the normally pleasant, mild-mannered, extremely feminine and gorgeous (shut up) Hot Mess Princess…and I become, well, the Hot Mess Raving Lunatic Bitch. Really.

The good thing is that I’ve determined that working out consistently works best for me when I do it first thing in the morning, before work and life and the general Hot Mess of my life takes control. If I wait, I’ll always find a reason why I can’t workout later. If I let my day go on, a million distractions take over.

The bad thing? I have to wake up at 4 am in order to make this happen…and forcing my 4 am self to do anything is not advisable. As it turns out, though, forcing myself to exercise at any hour of the day is quite a challenge. My internal monologue goes effing nuclear.

Here’s a sample of the shit Hot Mess Raving Lunatic Bitch says in my head:

This is stupid. This is so stupid. I don’t want to do this. I DON’T WANT TO!!!

I shouldn’t have to do this. Why do I have to be punished?

If I wasn’t so fat, I wouldn’t have to do this. How can I be this unlucky? Why couldn’t I be born skinny? There must be something wrong with me.

Yeah, I know. She’s nuts. And she’s rolling around in my head and getting in my way…and I’m tired of her. This leads me to another problem…

I have no idea how to get rid of this bitch.

Gastric sleeve surgery gave me a big ass tool with which to combat my food demons and put them in check. But this? This is all in my head. There’s no tool for that, really. If I was Oprah-rich I could afford to hire someone to physically manhandle me and put me on the elliptical every day, but I’m not. And that’s not really the way to handle this, is it? I need to find my way to a mindset that’s accepting of a physically active, healthy lifestyle that involves working out without wanting to stab myself in the leg with a pencil.

awesome

Alex, the exercise specialist dude at my surgeon’s office, gave me some great feedback at my last follow-up visit. He encouraged me to transition from looking to the scale for results to creating exercise goals for results. His guidance makes sense to me until I try to apply it with Hot Mess Lunatic Bitch hanging around.

I tried it, really. My goals were to increase my time on the elliptical by 1 – 3 minutes each week and add 1 – 3 reps to each resistance exercise each week. The problem with that is…I don’t give a shit!

I don’t care if I can do another minute on the elliptical than I did last week. I don’t have the slightest interest in doing more reps of something I find annoying in the first place. I. Don’t. Care. I get nothing from it. Yes, I know that’s not true. My body gets a lot from this activity…but Hot Mess Lunatic Bitch is very entitled and very loud.

I need to find out who I am as an exercising badass. Right now, everything about exercise just pisses me off. I know that’s not all me. Some of that is Hot Mess Lunatic Bitch, who I believe exists because of ghosts from the past. She’s the reason I’m pissed off just stepping on the elliptical. That’s obvious. But I’m not so sure she’s the reason I want to punch the lady in my workout DVD right in the vag when she says “We’re going to totally shred this workout, ladies. DOESN’T THAT FEEL GREAT???” Yeah, I think I just hate the DVD chick in general…because that shit is annoying!

(This is also the reason I can’t take any kind of aerobics or Zumba class. I’m pretty sure I’d be jailed for assault any time one of my classmates let out a little “woo hoo” in response to the teacher yelling her shrill motivational sayings. BOOM! Right square in the vagina. I hate that shit.)

I thought all this mental crap would subside if I just put my nose to the grindstone and kept pushing through it, but it hasn’t. When I realized it wasn’t going to go away, I knew I had to bring in reinforcements. And the only reinforcement I could think of that would help me combat this crap is therapy. Psychological counseling. Head shrink’in time!

I’m not a stranger to therapy, not by a long shot. I spent a total of six years in therapy over the course of my 20’s and 30’s while I tried to unravel all the shit I went through in my childhood. It was a lot of work, but I learned how to be my own person and how to put up healthy boundaries that were not in place at the time. Therapy helped me to stop the seriously out of control binge eating that got me to my top weight. It helped me to stop hating on the entire male population just because of a few a-holes. It gave me the first seeds of courage that I would need in order to grow into who I am today.

The benefits that my employer provides allow for four free sessions with a therapist, so I decided to take advantage of them. My first appointment was last week. At first, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d made the right decision. As I sat in the waiting room, I looked around at her book selection and there seemed to be an awful lot of books focused on finding your inner child…or speaking to your inner child…or going to Disneyland with your damn inner child.

I think the whole inner child angle can be helpful to some folks, especially at first. Way back in the day, it helped me to be able to look back at nine year old HMP and realize that no adult should ever have treated me like that. But as useful as those lessons were, it can also be a trap. Speaking from personal experience, my first therapist kept me on the inner child track for too long…and I ended up re-living a bunch of shit and perpetuating a victim mentality that just made me angry and hateful as an adult. It’s not something that would be useful to me now as an adult – and the books on her shelves were making me roll my eyes so hard I burned a few calories doing it.

Thankfully, when I met her my fears went out the window. She seems like a capable person who can help me. And honestly, I don’t expect to have this whole thing handled in four sessions…but I do think I can find my way back to the right road. Right now I’m so far off the road it’s not even funny. I don’t recognize the terrain out here. I don’t know which way to walk. When it comes down to handling Hot Mess Lunatic Bitch, I’m lost.

My homework for this week is to take note of the following:

  • Write down every memory I have from when I was at the dance studio
  • Write down all the shit rolling around in my head when I get up to workout and when I’m working out
  • Think about how my dance teacher made me feel. Write it down
  • Think about how I sabotage myself and why. Write it down

Not a problem. I’ve got this. I have no idea where this is going to lead me, but I’m proud of myself for being willing to look at it. I’m finally ready to whack this bitch into submission. Why now? Because of moments like this:

I climbed onto the elliptical trainer on Wednesday morning last week and started pedaling. Immediately, I said to myself “Wow, this actually feels good! This is good. I’m so glad I’m doing this again. I’m making great progress.”

That was immediately followed by this:

“No it doesn’t! This is stupid!!! I hate this! Don’t you dare like this…don’t even start that shit. This is stupid!!!! I HATE THIS!!!!”

I have no idea where that’s coming from, but it’s not helpful. In fact, it’s harmful. I can’t allow this kind of negative self-talk to continue…and if I do, I truly believe I’ll end up back on a path of self-destruction.

So I’m sorry, Hot Mess Lunatic Bitch, but I’m suiting up and getting in the ring. Your ass is going down.  You might want to leave town right now. Just say’in.

 


Bad Childhood—Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood

My Eyes!!!

113 pounds and 8 sizes later, my eyes are opened to a whole new world. Many worlds, actually. I can wear heels all day at work and not end up limping to the car. I feel like an actual woman now…instead of a huge fat creature with ovaries, if that makes sense. I like looking in the mirror now. And even HMH says I’m just generally a nicer person and a more supportive and nurturing wifey-poo. Honestly, I might just bring about world peace by the time I hit my goal weight. This shit is fabulous.

There is one surprising and, quite frankly, disgusting benefit of losing so much weight that I want to talk about today…so if you’ve eaten anything recently, you probably want to step away for 30 minutes or so in case you’re overcome with the urge to hurl as you read my dirty, horrible confession. Here it goes…

For years now, it has seemed that I could never really keep up with the housecleaning around here. We don’t live in a mansion. We have a 3 bedroom, 2 full bath home with a bonus loft (HMH’s man cave). We don’t have children, so I’ve always felt it should be a piece of cake to keep clean – but every weekend I’d notice dust bunnies behind the Playstation or a cobweb flying by my head somewhere. I could never seem to get ahead of it. Then it happened.

I was in the master bathroom last week when I accidentally dropped a hair clip on the floor and it rolled under the vanity nook in the cabinets. I had gotten up with my reading glasses still on my face, so I was looking over the top of my glasses in the mirror when it happened (who wants to see crows feet up close, am I right?). As I bent down to grab it, I was looking through my reading glasses at the floor….and HOLY CRAP!!!

Dirt. Filth. Everywhere. Just really, really gross.

I got down on my hands and knees and took it all in: hair, dust, dirt, dustings of leftover dried cat litter from before Caesar the cat went to Rainbow Bridge. The tile and molding was caked thick with it. It was absolutely revolting.

You know that feeling you get sometimes when someone is about to give you bad news and you’re all “No, no, no…I don’t want to know, really”? As I stood up, I started moving around the house and studying everything through my reading glasses. I couldn’t help myself. Part of me didn’t want to know, but I just couldn’t help myself.

One word: GROSS

In the kitchen, the cabinet baseboards are thick with crud…and the area under the sink is so vile I can’t even talk about it. The molding all over the house has to be scrubbed clean. There are cobwebs in places I didn’t even know could get cobwebs.

If I lived with a neat freak, the house would never have gotten this bad. But I didn’t. I married the guy who doesn’t notice when he splashes spaghetti sauce inside the silverware drawer and gets muddy fingerprints all over the stainless fridge. Regardless, it isn’t up to him to tell me our house is dirty…I should have seen this and I didn’t. Because for years and years I couldn’t bend down to get a hair clip that fell. I would have had to flick it out from under the cabinets with a coat hanger or something…because 383 pound me was too tired and sore to get down there and really have a look.

house clean

I wasn’t just neglecting myself when I was super obese. I was neglecting our home. As I get closer to goal weight and farther from 383 pound me, I’m happier because there are so many more positive things in my life now than before. I enjoy stupid little things like making the bed when I get up in the morning…because our bedroom looks inviting and cozy when it’s neat. I don’t mind doing laundry and dishes and all the other household chores around here because I have so much more energy than I did a year ago. (And before y’all ask where HMH is in all this, let me just say that he works very long hours every day and he has a very physical job…so I do most of the housework because I think it’s only fair. And I’m okay with that.)

Now I know why I was finding cobwebs and other crap. Nothing in this house is really clean. Remember Monica on the tv show “Friends”? Well, I always wanted to be Rachel…but I’m really Monica. Or I was before I gained so much weight. In the years leading up to my sleeve surgery, I turned into the anti-Monica…and it’s eff’in scary around here.

I’m trying to develop a healthy balance in my life between work, hobbies and chores…so as much as I wanted to spend 18 hours scrubbing the master bathroom when I found that crud, I broke it down into manageable sections. I just finished scrubbing the final section of the floor. In fact, I scrubbed the moldings and baseboard so much that I need to repaint them. Now I’ve started on the shower. Each weekend, I’ll branch out and do more…and more…and more…until finally I’ve scrubbed the last of the “fat dirt” out of my life for good. Because that’s what this stuff is to me: my fat dirt. It’s the crap I let pile up in our home while I was neglecting my health and eating away my feelings.

I even bought new mats for the bathroom. Holy shit, I’m SO (insert name of famous interior designer here). (And what may look like dirt spots to some of you is actually caulk and molding that have to be repainted because they’re stained or chipped, by the way.)

My bathroom floor is spotless and it makes me smile. When I sweep it next weekend during my regular household chores, I won’t be stirring up a bunch of dust and dander that’s collected for years…I’ll just be sweeping up the floor. The dustpan won’t contain anything that makes me say “I don’t remember THAT. What is that???”

I have to admit it: this was a hard blog post to write. I don’t want everyone thinking I’m a horrible slob. And trust me…as bad as things are around here, they’re nowhere near the homes on the tv shows “Clean Sweep” and “Clean House”. Anyone watch those? Holy CRAP that shit’s scary. Our house looks like a palace compared to those. Still, things are pretty dirty around here and it’s going to take me quite a while to make it right.

It’s a little overwhelming to think about, especially considering that I’ll have a house full of family for Easter this year – but I can get through it. This isn’t unlike the changes I went through in the first months after my surgery when I had to learn to eat responsibly…and slowly. It was overwhelming at first, but I knew the only way out was through. This is just another type of change that I gifted myself when I made the decision to take control of my life. So I’m grateful that I dropped that hair clip…and I’m grateful that I can finally get down into the nitty gritty of things and really see them for what they are. You could say my eyes have opened. Again.


Sugar Free IBC Root Beer Barrels 1 Lb

The First Diet I Ever Went On

I was thinking about all the diets and supplements and programs I’ve been on the other day…sort of a sadistic trip down Bad Memory Lane. I was listing them all in my head. Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser challenge at work, Fen Phen (or however the hell you spell it), Meridia, Metabolife…you name it.

But, just like a sweaty tryst on prom night, you never forget your first – and my first was the Scarsdale Diet. Even now, just the name sends images of lean hamburger patties and cottage cheese dancing through my head. But I was fat and I needed to be on a diet. In fact, by the time I went on the Scarsdale Diet I had been hounded about being a big fat fatty for 3 years already.

I was 13 years old.

What a fatty...
What a fatty…

I’m not sure which is fatter…the pointy elbows…the collar bone…the single chin…the flat tummy…it’s really kind of a toss up, isn’t it? What a porker. Obviously, I needed to be put on a diet before things spiraled out of control. I think we can all agree on that, right?

If only I had been successful in losing all the weight when I was 13, I’d never have been such a huge fatty in high school.

Hot Mess Prom
Hot Mess Prom

It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Look at this girl and call her fat. I dare you.

Okay, maybe I could have lost 5 pounds if I’d tweezed those caterpillar eyebrows – but other than that, there’s no weight to be lost here. By the time this picture was taken, I was a seasoned dieter with years of experience. If you have a daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, or second cousin twice removed who’s a teenager would you do me a favor? Walk away from the computer, put down the smart phone, and go give her a hug right now. Tell her she’s beautiful just the way she is. Inside and out. Right. Now.

It’s taken me a lifetime to not look back at these pictures with anger. A little sad maybe, sure. I think that’s normal. But it doesn’t own me. It doesn’t control me. And, most importantly, there isn’t a smidge of my brain, my heart, or my soul that believes for a second now that I was fat or that I deserved to be treated that way. God gives us obstacles. This was mine.

When I hear someone lamenting the loss of their youth, I just smile and think to myself “Why on Earth would I ever want to go back and be that frightened, intimidated kid again?”  No, thank you. Much of my youth was spent dieting for no reason.

Today, I actually am as fat as I felt I was back then…and I wouldn’t trade the me I am today for 1,000 scared little Diannes. I wouldn’t. I’m grateful for me. All of me. Warts, cellulite, moles and all.

But I am glad I learned how to trim my fucking eyebrows. 🙂

The Consultation

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog lately, you know that I had a consultation with a bariatric surgeon yesterday…something I never thought I would do if you’d asked me ten years ago.

True to my word, I intend to write about the entire experience today – so this is quite a long post. I also asked my readers on Facebook whether you wanted me to talk about anything in particular, and many of you spoke up with questions, so you’ll see me bring those up along the way as well. Let’s get started…

I actually met with this same surgeon two years ago to discuss Lap Band surgery. Although I was approved for it, I never got it done. The main reasons were because I learned that ice cream (my major downfall) slips right past the band…and also because I had an epiphany of sorts that made me want to try and sort this out on my own. As a result, I lost 45 pounds.

Then I gained it back. Then I lost some of it. Then I gained that back. Then I lost some…you get the picture. I’ve been perpetually dieting, losing, and gaining it back (plus more) since I was 13 years old and the Evil Dance Teacher told my Mom to put me on the Scarsdale Diet.

Back to the consultation…

The office is run in a way that makes patients feel like people, not numbers, right down to the extra large chairs in the waiting room. I’ve never been comfortable cramming my four asses in most waiting room chairs, but here they acknowledge the reason their patients are here and they make an effort to make them comfortable. The office staff was friendly and kind and the only thing I can even think to complain about was the fact that they were playing one of those daytime “baby mama” talk shows on the waiting room tv.

When I booked the appointment last week, I received an email confirmation and a bunch of documents with tons of information and instructions. I was to visit their online patient portal to complete my paperwork and then follow all the new patient instructions.

As a result, by the time I opened their front door yesterday afternoon, I’d already taken an online webinar about the dietary requirements before, during, and after surgery, taken a quiz about dietary requirements after surgery, and read the entire patient education handbook that explained everything that would happen from the consultation to fulfilling my insurance requirements to pre-op tests, the surgery, and after care – including what I would be required to eat and do before and after surgery. It also listed the online support groups they offer. (Crystal M. from Facebook asked whether there would be classes or consultations about the major changes after the surgery…and I had all that information before I even set foot in their office, with the opportunity for support groups if I want it.)

Phew!!! These guys are thorough, I’ll give them that. Their mission is to educate and inform about every detail of the surgery experience and that was obvious from the moment I scheduled my appointment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Within a few minutes, I was taken to an exam room and the nurse took my blood pressure (high…I was excited and nervous all day leading up to this). She also took my picture to help document my progress for my patient file. Then she had me start on paperwork for my psych evaluation while I waited for the doctor to come in.

On Facebook, Kelly G. asked me to talk about the moment before the doctor walked in. I had a notebook on the exam table, flipped open to a page titled “Questions for Doctor”. The other pages behind it contained “Questions for Nutritionist” and “Questions for Finance Chick”. As I sat there waiting, I read over my questions and pulled a pen out of my handbag to write the answers down. I was very focused and very much on a mission to get the information I needed to make an informed decision about my next steps. I felt equally apprehensive about wanting to have surgery and not wanting to have surgery…and I just prayed that my choice would become clear to me before all of this was through. The right path usually opens for me if I just shut up and pay attention.

Before I knew it, the doc comes knocking at the door. He is a tall, gentle mannered man with a kind smile and a good sense of humor…just like I remembered from two years ago. He sits facing me and looks me in the eyes as I speak. He seems to have no schedule or concern that I’m rambling on a little nervously. He smiles at my stupid jokes. He lets me ask questions. He asks me questions. When I tell him I saw him 2 years ago for lap band but decided against it, he says “I’m glad.”

What? I asked him what he meant.

He says that he usually recommends gastric sleeve surgery for patients my age in my weight range who have no other physical/medical problems. He usually recommends gastric bypass for diabetics and other medically compromised patients…but I’m healthy other than my weight. He told me that fewer and fewer patients are asking for lap band surgery now since they don’t lose that much weight with it and it’s much easier to manipulate than a sleeve or a bypass.

He cautions me that I must follow the guidelines in the patient handbook to the letter or I’ll cause myself serious harm. I explain that I’m fairly anal about following doctor’s orders – especially if it involves vomiting or internal bleeding. He tells me of a 24 year old female patient he had who ate a ham sandwich the first week she was allowed solid food and ruptured part of her new stomach. (The patient handbook clearly and emphatically explains what’s allowed during every stage of recovery…ham sandwich is nowhere on the list, peeps.) Then he tells me of a male patient who ate a brisket sandwich 2 days after leaving the hospital and blew his stomach out.

Jesus…I’m grateful for my own flaws after hearing about these poor souls.

clueless

As we discuss things further, I feel good about turning this corner. Not because he’s giving me a sales pitch, but because he seems naturally kind. When he asks me questions, he looks at me when I speak and pays attention only to me. He doesn’t fidget with my chart or stare at the floor and nod condescendingly. When he asks me how much I want to weigh and I say “I don’t care what the scale says. I want to be healthy, feel confident in my appearance, and go rollerblading”…he smiles with understanding.

I ask him how many gastric sleeve surgeries he’s performed. This is important to me because I want someone who’s experienced. The answer is over 1,200 gastric sleeve surgeries and I feel good about that number. He explains something I already know: the surgery will not lose all my weight for me. I have about 220 pounds to lose, depending on what day I get on the scale. The charts all say that the average weight for a woman my height is 155-170. He says that the surgery will get me to about 200 pounds. (Not a guarantee, just a ballpark idea.)

200 pounds. I can barely even remember the day that the scale hit 201 for the first time, it was that long ago. If I had to guess, I’d say 1990. I remember holding at 195 forever and fighting like hell to get that number down because I knew I would just die of horror if the scale ever read 200. Then it hit 201 and in the blink of an eye I was looking at 295 and praying to God I never hit 300.

200 pounds sounds fucking awesome to me. And it doesn’t happen with just surgery. I still have to eat right. I still have to work out – in fact, my patient handbook tells me to start working out immediately if I’m not already. (More on that later.) All the surgery does is remove the opportunity for over-indulging. That’s the biggest advantage. If I want ice cream, I can’t eat a pint of it. Not even close.

I’ve gone on and on in this post and I’m over a thousand words already – and although none of you seems to mind when I get long winded, I do apologize for being such a wordy bitch today. These words are necessary, though, and I don’t plan to pare much of it down.

After the doctor, I met with the patient coordinator (insurance/financial stuff) and the nutritionist (diet stuff). Here’s the scoop on the pre and post surgery diet, especially for Marcia S. who asked on Facebook:

First, to answer one of Marcia’s questions, there is no medication that I have to take for life because of this surgery. I do have to take a bunch of vitamins…some are recommended for life and some are for the first 6 months. I’ll list those out in another post I plan to write very soon, I promise.

carrots - blog

Second, the only “problem” I’ll have absorbing nutrients with a gastric sleeve is due to the fact that my new stomach will only hold about 1/8 of a cup of food. My body will absorb all the nutrients in the food I’m able to eat, unlike gastric bypass patients who’s bodies no longer absorb many nutrients in the food they eat. Gastric bypass patients have their intestines re-routed. Gastric sleeve patients only have their stomach operated on. No one’s touching my intestines or re-routing my digestive system. Now on to the food plan:

Two weeks before surgery I need to be on a 1,200 calorie a day high protein, low carb diet of my choosing (but they offered a butt load of suggestions). This is to help me adjust to a lower calorie life so that life after surgery won’t be so shocking.

One week before surgery, I’ll be on liquids only. Protein shakes, broth, sugar free jello, sugar free popsicles. Clear soups and juices. Vitamin water zero. This is to reduce the amount of fat in my liver. The liver sits on top of the stomach…and it’s easier to lift my liver off my stomach if it’s not loaded with crap.

I can expect to be in the hospital for 1 – 2 days. In the hospital, I’ll be on clear liquids only and that will continue after I’m discharged for a week after surgery.

The second week after surgery I’ll be on a liquid diet. Back to protein shakes, etc.

The third week after surgery, I’ll be on a soft diet. Baked fish, dark meat chicken, cottage cheese, etc.

If I tolerate all that well, I can switch to solid food on week four.

And right now? I’m to workout as much as I can handle right now. They want me to be able to do 30 minutes of cardio every day by the time I have surgery. The patient handbook goes on in detail about how important it is to get that going immediately – and how much it helps with recovery after surgery, as well as with the continuation of exercise as I lose weight.

They want me on all the vitamins now. They want me eliminating unhealthy fats and carbs now. Basically, I’m to continue fighting like I have…and take some extra vitamins.

road small

As you can probably surmise by now, I’ve decided to move forward with the surgery. There could be something that happens between now and the actual surgery that changes my mind, but as of right now I am sure that this is the right decision for me.

It hasn’t been easy. Someone very close to me has told me that they disagree with my decision and that they don’t think I’m being honest with myself. This is more a reflection on the fact that this person doesn’t know me as well as they think they do. Regardless, it still hurt a little to hear. It didn’t change my mind.

Many others are encouraging and supporting me. My boss and co-workers are amazing. HMH sat me down and said “You know you don’t have to do this…right?”

Yes, I know. But the fact is…I want to. In my heart, I feel this is the right thing to do for me.

Do you know that epic battle scene at the end of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King? The good guys are surrounded by thousands of screaming orcs and goblins and trolls and they’re fighting like hell to keep them back. I feel like I’ve been in that battle for 20 years – but instead of a big, badass sword I have a tiny little spoon as my only weapon. That’s fucked up, yo.

I have so much more to say on this and you probably have many questions – but I’m going over 2,000 words now and this is just ridonkulous. Once you get done with the novel I’ve just written here, let me know if you have questions and I’ll answer them. I promise.

I want to thank you all for the positive, encouraging messages you’ve posted and sent. They mean the world to me. This decision is mine to make alone and I feel that I’m making the best decision for me. I hope you understand that and continue to support me. I will continue to write about it and answer any questions I can. If you’re not comfortable commenting “in public” feel free to email me or contact me on Facebook. I’m happy to help.

I imagine that it will always be part of my life’s work to help lead the charge in helping obese and overweight people feel that there is hope…that not all is lost…that there are solutions out there that will work for all of us. The war on obesity should not be a war against the obese – and whether you choose a more natural method, surgery, or something in between, you have to find what works for you.

For the first time in a long time, I feel hope in my heart. Real, true hope. I drove home with a huge smile on my face, not fearing surgery but feeling the most uplifting joy at the thought of buying smaller clothes…fitting into an airplane seat without worry…dancing with my husband…and rollerblading down the concrete path through the woods behind our house.

The last thing I did before I went to sleep last night wasn’t to think about all the foods I was going to miss or planning one last dinner at Razzoo’s. I window shopped online. For rollerblades.

Got questions? I’m an open book. Let’s hear ’em.