Tag Archives: weight loss surgery

The Power of We

38 days ago, in the middle of the Christmas holiday season, I ate 24 coconut petit fours in 24 hours.  When I was halfway through the butter toffee, I stopped.  I walked to the trash can in tears and tossed it, promising myself I was done with sugar.

28 days ago, I had weaned myself down to one diet soda per day after countless years of drinking it like water.  I cut out that last can of diet soda and promised myself to stop drinking chemicals.

25 days ago, I decided to give myself an imaginary lap band.  I had been considering lap band surgery and, after reading several patient experiences on an online forum, decided to give the pre-op diet  a go…just to see what it was like.  I had a food epiphany that helped me stop thinking of eating healthy as a chore.

And a little over 24 hours ago, I created my version of Motivation Marbles, pinned it on Pinterest…and your outpouring of support has absolutely overwhelmed me…and humbled me.  I am so absolutely grateful for each and every one of your comments, your “likes”, your shares, and your pins.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I had a pretty full day today.  In addition to my regular job, I had an interview for a promotion and needed to refit my resume for another job I was applying for within my company.  In between all these tasks, my phone would alert me that you were listening.

Bleep!   A new comment on the blog.

Beep beep!  A new pin on Pinterest.

Hoo Hoo!  A new “like” on Facebook.

I went down to the cafeteria to get a bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips to eat with my sandwich.  My eyes grazed over the lemon bars that I used to get every single day.  I try not to look at them for long.  (I think calories can smell fear.)  But just as my eyes were grazing over the lemon bars, Bleep!  New comment on the blog.  Oh look!  It’s from someone who has to lose 94 lbs.  I instantly identify with her.

Walking back to my desk. Hoo Hoo!  New Facebook likes on my Fan Page.  More smiles.  It was as if you were all following me today, reading my blog and enjoying yourselves as much as I was enjoying your comments.

By the way, remember yesterday morning when I promised that I would try the cucumber juice concoction I’d been thinking about?  Turned out to be 2 cucs, 2 oranges, a bunch of mint & basil  Here it is:

It was…mildly tasty.  I think I’m happier with the fact that it didn’t completely turn me off.  I want to try again!  Anyway, back to today’s events…

I came home expecting so see that the visits on my blog have settled down, but they haven’t.  They’re continuing to skyrocket.  I plopped down in front of my laptop and read more comments.  I will always try to respond to you – even if you’re only saying hi.  My husband came home and I was still replying to you.  He asked what I was doing and I said “Replying to my readers”.  My readers.  🙂

I sat here at this laptop for quite a while, knowing that I have promised myself that I will do 6 days of exercise in a row.  This is a weakness of mine and so this is the challenge I’ve extended myself.  I would much rather have sat on the couch – or that’s what I thought.  There was a big Saint Bernard head in my lap and I was being required to administer belly rubs.  I kept telling myself “Later.  I’ll do it later…before bed.”

More and more comments came in and, as I read them, I realized…I want to get on the treadmill.  I promised myself in front of my readers that I would exercise for 6 days in a row.  I thought of all the cheers you’ve given me and all the stories you’ve shared with all of us.  Suddenly the excuses fell away and I didn’t want to let you down.  I wanted to walk my own talk.  So I got on the treadmill tonight at a time when I am usually getting ready for bed.

The last several times I’ve been on the treadmill, I’ve lasted for 10 to 20 minutes.  Each time, I’ve tried not to watch the clock as it ticks off my time.  Why does that clock seem to move so slow?

This time, I remembered to grab my iPod and headphones.  I got on the treadmill.  Train was singing “Hey, Soul Sister” in my head…and I smiled.  I walked.  With pep, energy, and purpose – not the clunky, oh-crap-I-am-so-stopping-at-KFC-after-this lurch I used to do.  The music lifted me.  The idea that there are all these strangers out there who come to this blog and see what I’m up do…it gave me a little extra dose of sassy on that treadmill.

I started walking and I had my mental clock set for 20 minutes.  Let’s not get crazy here, I’m just starting back to exercise.  I trudged on while Caesar the cat lounged on the bed behind me, looking at me as if to say “Watching you clunk around on that thing only makes me more sleepy.”

As I walked, I thought about the comments that you’ve left here for me.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  And I never smile when I exercise.  I knew I was getting close to 20 minutes and looked down.  23 minutes.  But I wasn’t tired.  I was pumped up by your support…and also by the strong desire to show Caesar the cat that I can rock this treadmill.  I decided to go for 30 minutes.

“Like a Prayer” was blasting in my ears (the Glee cast version) and I love that song.  My 30 minutes were up, but I wanted to hear the end of the song…so I kept going.  32:06 was when I flicked the switch.

32 minutes and 6 seconds.  That’s the most time I’ve spent on a treadmill in a year and a half.

This has been an amazing day for me.  Seeing your comments pop up in email, on my phone, on my Facebook fan page…it means more  to me than you know.  When I got home from work, I had so much to do I could very well have fallen back on another excuse.

I’m looking forward to moving some marbles VERY soon.  As soon as Mother Nature arrives and departs, I’m gett’in on that scale.  For now, I’m suffering through the water retention gift she gave me.  She’s such a bitch.

I hope you will all keep coming back, posting comments, and supporting each other.  It is really amazing what happens when we feel the support of others.  Tonight, I felt yours…and I am so grateful for it.

Thank you all for getting me on the treadmill tonight.

Imaginary Lap Band – Day 1 is done!

Sweet Jump’in Jesus…what a day!

I went to bed Wednesday night all excited about my Imaginary Lap Band experiment. I woke up with my inner Twinkie Worshiping Demon whining before my feet hit the floor. Perhaps I was dreaming about carbs chasing me. I can’t remember.

I was fine through my normal morning routine, then I got to work and drank my lovely protein shake. That’s all I get? 110 calories of a chocolatey chalky liquid? Oh…

I was still hungry. Normally when I’m in “eating healthy mode”, I have 3 slices of turkey bacon, fresh grapefruit, and a small bowl of Special K with skim milk for breakfast…so a “chalkolate shake” is not gonna do it for me. (Yeah, I pretty much eat the same thing for breakfast every morning when I’m in “eating healthy mode”…auto pilot is my friend in the hours before the caffeine hits my veins.)

I felt deprived when my chalkolate shake was gone, but I told myself to suck it up and get with the program. C’mon, it’s the first day of my experiment! How big of a wimp can I be? After all, this was going to be my diet for 7 days before surgery if that’s the road I end up going down. Time to walk the talk.

It wasn’t long before there was a pinching, throbbing feeling at my temple and I knew: incoming migraine. Great. I do suffer from migraine headaches, but usually only during the week when that bitch Mother Nature rears her ugly head. To make matters worse, I was freezing my ass off. They keep the air conditioning turned up way too high – and with most people on vacation this week, there were fewer bodies moving around. Those of us who were working joked that we could pour water on the floor and go ice skating. Brrr.

So I’m freezing all 4 of my asses off, I have a migraine, I’m super hungry, and my tongue is kind of fuzzy after my chalkolate experience. I was chewing gum (sugarless, of course) like a Jersey prom queen. Somewhere in there, I started realizing just how hard this was going to be.

Since I’d had my breakfast chalkolate at 630 am, I had my lunch chalkolate at 1030 am. Yum. It took the edge off, but the migraine stayed parked right where it was. I was wearing a sweater, my coat, a wrap, and a scarf – and my feet and hands were freezing. As I sat there in my miserable existence, I got a little scared about whether I could actually handle surgery.

All this time, I’d been assuming that I could handle this without much issue. Yesterday I followed the pre-op diet. This is exactly what I will have to do for 7 days prior to my surgery if I elect to do it. Yesterday wasn’t about eating what I might be able to consume AFTER the Lap Band is installed. Yesterday was about following a special diet of my doctor’s so that the amount of fat around my liver is drastically reduced before surgery. I was surprised and embarrassed at how bad I was handling it.

By afternoon, I was leveling off. My head seemed to feel better and I wasn’t hungry. I had found my zone: an organized ritual of guzzling water, Crystal Light Pure, chewing gum, and drinking hot herbal tea. I started banging around between “Maybe I can do this…” and “What the hell am I thinking?” It may seem strange, but just 8 hours into my experiment I was getting some real insight into whether I would be able to handle the surgery experience…and whether I want to.

I realized that, even though I try my best to be super gung-ho when I go into “eating healthy mode”, there’s always this underlying feeling of “Oh crap…what a drag. No more buffalo wings and cookies.” I’ve always just shoved that aside and kept on trudging towards my goal. But it’s been there, undermining me. I didn’t realize it until my first morning of Imaginary Lap Band…when my stomach was a gurgly mass of chalkolate misery and I would have given my right arm for a little bit of grilled chicken & spinach salad.

As I huddled under 50 pounds of clothing at my icy desk, I was both ashamed and proud of myself. Ashamed because I wasn’t handling the super restricted diet well, proud because my cravings were not for a McDonald’s sausage biscuit or a Starbucks salted caramel frappucino. No, I wanted a grilled chicken salad. Sometimes I just love me. 🙂

The migraine was still hanging around, but wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in the morning. I do have medication that I can take for migraines, but…I have to take them with food. That’s not the pharmacy talking either, that’s my stomach. If I take a pill without food in my tummy, I will toss my cookies faster than you can shake a stick. I’d only had 220 calories all day…I wasn’t about to risk tossing those back up. They didn’t taste too great going down. I didn’t want to know what they tasted like going the other way, thanks.

Another realization hit me as I sat there trying to keep my ankles warm: I was about to spend another 4 day weekend in misery. Last month, my Thanksgiving holiday was derailed by Mother Nature. I’d managed to get the pies baked and got the prep work started on the turkey and BAM! I was hit by the worst case of cramps I’d seen in a few months. I spent the rest of the day curled up in a chair, listening to my husband and my mother-in-law trying to gross each other out with the turkey gizzards.

Just 30 days later, I was excited by the opportunity to redeem myself during my 4 day Christmas weekend. I had a full schedule of organizing and cleaning planned, which was desperately needed after many lost weekends from various commitments. BAM! Mother Nature rears her ugly head again. I stayed curled up on the couch for the bulk of the weekend, repeatedly whimpering that all men should have to have cramps just once. And they should also be made to wear tighty whities with underwire that cuts off the circulation to their bizzles. Yeah, I’d be okay with that.

Now I was facing a 4 day New Years weekend of migraines and chalkolate misery. Such was my enthusiasm for the Imaginary Lap Band project that I didn’t realize the bad timing of starting it on my last chance for a holiday weekend. When I get an idea in my head I’m like a raccoon with a shiny object. I love that about me. Sometimes.

I wasn’t sure whether I would continue the experiment or perhaps postpone it for next week. My house is an absolute mess. I love him dearly, but my husband will start drinking from the gravy boat before he’ll do a load of dishes. I came home from a weekend trip once to find him eating his dinner with the giant serving fork and a carving knife. You see my point, I’m sure.

Over dinner last night (parmesan chicken for him, chalkolate goodness for me), we discussed the pros and cons of me postponing my experiment until next week. I decided that I would, indeed, postpone the experiment until next week so that I could get my house in order. My mother-in-law is coming for a visit this weekend and, although it doesn’t bother my husband, I’m simply not okay with her having to eat dinner off of an 18 inch serving platter because her son’s arms don’t seem to work within a 2 foot radius of the dishwasher. However, I didn’t want to just blow off an entire day of suffering…so I finished the day under the pre-op diet rules.

When I went to bed, I’d had a total of 620 calories for the day. That’s 3 protein shakes, a bowl of strained oatmeal, and a couple servings of sugar free jello. See what I mean about that grilled chicken salad? Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

I woke up this morning with a migraine. In fact, as soon as I’m done writing this I’ll be taking the magic pill that makes it go away. I have a day’s worth of house work to get going on. Just 24 hours into the Imaginary Lap Band experiment has taught me so much. This morning, as I ate my healthy breakfast of turkey bacon and grapefruit (I’m out of Special K), I caught myself chewing slower…with my eyes closed…savoring the yumminess of every bite. I really appreciated my healthy breakfast in a way I’d never done before. I began to think “Maybe I can do this the ‘old fashioned way’ after all”…and not for the first time. This experience has humbled me in a way that I would never have predicted and I’m left thinking “Maybe I just need to try again and leave surgery on the back burner.” I think I have a little more fight left in me than I thought I did.

(I also woke up with 1 pound less than I went to bed with. Good riddance! Weight loss tracker is updated.)

In just this little bit of time, my love for good, healthy food has been renewed. I’m looking forward to some fresh, grilled chipotle chicken tacos for lunch today and it no longer seems like a chore to me. There is no more underlying negativity or feeling of obligation. Did going without for such an insignificant time really change my outlook this much? I’m not going to over think this (for once)…I’m just grateful for the lesson.

Even losing this weight through surgery is hard work, I’m just not convinced it’s the route for me. I’ll be thinking long and hard about this over the weekend. When I think about jumping back into the ring and going 18 rounds with my food demons, I can feel my fragile resolve waffling between I can and I can’t. I want to jump back in, I really do. I think there’s a little bit of fear in there somewhere. I hate fear. I’ve got to get to the bottom of this.

Hope you’re all having a great week thus far!

EAS Myoplex Lite Ready-to-Drink Nutrition Shake, Chocolate Fudge, (Pack of 24)