I have a friend who just had gastric bypass surgery this past week, and she’s having a hard time.
She misses food. She says she’s hungry. She feels lost.
Boy, I can so relate to what she’s going through.
Telling someone what it’s like to have gastric bypass surgery is like trying to tell someone what it’s like to have a baby. Meaning, you can describe the effects all you want, but you can’t really understand it until you go through it yourself.
That’s why I never, ever recommend someone should have the surgery. It has to be an individual decision, one made after lots of research and soul-searching takes place. I’m glad I had it done, and ever with all the complications I endured, I would absolutely do it again. But no, I would never tell anyone to go through with it.
Having the surgery is a shock. I didn’t realize how much I used food as a comfort; I always thought of my eating as a weapon of self-destruction, never something that made me feel better. But just after surgery, still in the hospital, I wanted a Mountain Dew so bad. I realized how I used soda to calm me down, to make me feel better. And now, I couldn’t do that. And like my friend is now, I was just lost.
It gets better. You just have to grit your teeth and get through it, day by day. It takes a while, for sure. But eventually, you do find a way to eat and you do enjoy food again. In fact, eating is so much more enjoyable when you know it’s not killing you.
If you’re thinking about having weight loss surgery, read all that you can. Find people who have had it done (they are everywhere!) and ask them about their experience. Go into the process with your eyes wide open before making a decision. This is a major life change, and it is not going to be easy.
But for me, it’s been totally worth it.
Are you superstitious about your “fat clothes”?
I’ve known many people who, at the very moment they achieved their goal weight, promptly cleaned out their closets and dispensed of their large sizes. This always struck me as pushing one’s luck; after all, how silly would you feel if you gave all your clothes away, only to gain some weight back and need them just a short time later?
Now that I think of it, it’s a pretty pessimistic way of looking at things.
When I had gastric bypass surgery and the weight came off so quickly, my mind had a hard time keeping up with my physical reality. I walked around in clothes that were way too big for me because I couldn’t grasp the concept, couldn’t believe that I was actually, significantly, thinner. Finally, family members and friends started to gently coax me into buying more clothes. And as I did, I really thought nothing of bagging up the old clothes and donating them. I got rid of my “fat” clothes.
It turned out to be way more of a practical move than a symbolic gesture. First, I don’t have a lot of closet space, so I needed to make room. Second, as people gave me clothes they no longer needed because they’d lost weight, it occurred to me what a nice gesture it is to pay that forward, and giving away my clothes meant I was helping someone else. Perhaps most importantly, ridding myself of the bigger sizes meant I could no longer use the larger clothes as a crutch. The weight was gone, and I was moving on, end of story.
It’s now been almost three years since my surgery and I haven’t needed my fat clothes, thank goodness. If you’ve lost weight or you plan to, I encourage you to clean out your closet. Let go of the pounds and say goodbye to the bigger you!
Snow in the south—send help!!!!
We were socked with four inches of snow Monday, following by half an inch of ice.
We’re going on our third day out of school, and I am a Mommy on the Edge!
One good thing about all of this—I am actually able to play in the snow with my kids. When I was much heavier, walking across a room was an effort; now, I can run and jumo and play in the snow with little worry.
Of course…..that doesn’t mean I like it.
Please send sunshine. And please Lord, let there be school tomorrow!!
I’ve gotten some flak about my eating habits, and really I can understand why.
Pepperoni slices. Cheese. Peanut Butter. Yeah, not exactly the picture of health.
In my defense, though, I never pretended to be an expert on anything. A lot of people put out books about their experience with weight loss, promising to share with you what they found to be the key to their success.
My book, Designated Fat Girl, is simply a memoir about my food addiction. I’m not promising to tell you what to do (I wouldn’t even begin to know what “the right thing” is…although I am quickly becoming the expert on the wrong thing!)
My eating habits have been poor all of my life, and quite honestly, they still leave a lot of room for improvement.
Some question why, after all I’ve been through, wouldn’t I now “do the right thing” when it comes to food.
Oh, if it were only that simple.
Gastric bypass surgery affects people in different ways. Some people are forever restricted in how much sugar and fat they can consume; others eat both with ease.
For me, some sugar is not a problem, but too much carbohydrate leaves me feeling deathly ill.
Fruit was never my favorite thing anyway, but now I really can’t tolerate it.
Green leafys? No way, and for most of my adult life, I’ve enjoyed salads, but alas, no more.
No to corn. I can have a tablespoon of green peas, a teaspoon of green beans. It’s pretty pitiful.
So I’ve found what I can tolerate, between my problems with digestion and my limited palate.
And it’s not always pretty, that’s for sure. But so far, it works for me.
Bipolar exercise: 5 mins before workout: No! I don’t want to! 5 mins after workout begins: Man! Love this! Hope this feeling lasts forever! 5 mins before workout ends: God….am.going.to.die.
This was my facebook status yesterday.
Why do we do this to ourselves???? I dropped the kids off at school, I came back home and sent some emails, dawdled on the internet, looked at a magazine…anything to avoid working out.
Finally, with great heaviness, I put on my sneakers and climbed onto the treadmill. I put some good workout tunes on the iPod (Information Society…remember them????) and I got going.
And man, did it feel great. Five minutes into it, music blasting, great pace, loving life.
That went on for 25 minutes and all was well. With five minutes left, buoyed by my endorphins, I guess, I decided to run.
It felt great for the first, oh…30 seconds.
Then, the burn. Then, the aches. Then….I.can’t.breathe.
I ran for four minutes, probably too fast. I cooled down by walking for 5 minutes, changing the tunes to 3 Doors Down, “Here without You”. My breathing regulated. My chest stopped pounding.
In the end, I guess I felt good. I’ve always wanted to take up running, and I feel my workouts need a boost.
But I’ll definitely take it slow next time!!
I no longer struggle with food addiction, but that doesn’t mean exercise is a slam dunk for me.
Indeed, I am struggling to force myself on the treadmill in the mornings. I have to get up super early to work, but I then have about an hour window before the kids are awake. What I should do is go ahead and get exercise out of the way. What I’ve ended up doing recently more times than I would like to count: getting back under the covers for a quick snooze.
Sometimes I make up for it later in the day. Sometimes I don’t, and I feel so guilty about it.
What is so dumb is how great exercise makes me feel—once I’m able to talk myself into it, I am so glad that I finished a workout. I go about my day with such a sense of accomplishment, with more energy to boot.
*sigh* If someone has found the cure for exercise avoidance, please…enlighten me!!
Happy New Year!
A hodgepodge of updates this morning.
Have you seen the Frontiers of Fat series in the Raleigh News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer? It’s a 5-day series on obesity, and yours truly was featured in the first two days. It’s a really good series, although the second piece said my son Eli was born three months early, weighing 12 pounds. Uh…that would be three weeks early. I’m pretty sure we would have set some sort of record with that one! Here’s the link: http://www.newsobserver.com/
A reminder that I post at Go Ask Mom on WRAL’s website every Tuesday. I’ve really enjoyed this assignment and have gotten wonderful feedback. You can check it out here: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/goaskmom/
I have **finally** decided what my next writing project will be! Cue the angels chorus!!!! I’ll have details soon, but it’s something I am very excited about, especially the part where I finally made the decision!!
And lastly, I am on such a movie kick lately. I’ve gone to the movies more in the last month than I have in the last two years! I saw Despicable Me (at the dollar theater with the kids…totally worth it), 127 Hours (by myself. I am such a James Franco fan I had to see it. Very hard to watch, but an amazing performance), Gulliver’s Travels (my mom treated the whole family. It was pretty good—a little crass in some spots, but overall good) and Black Swan (by myself. Again, I just had to see it and it was really good. Darren Aronosky rocks).
Hope everyone’s New Year is off to an amazing start. I’m forcing myself now to get on the treadmill, kicking and screaming!
Forgive me if I don’t make any New Year’s Resolutions.
You see, it was a New Year’s resolution that led me to behavior that almost killed me.
New Year’s Eve, 1990. I’m 18 years old, in love with a boy who is completely indifferent to me, yet strings me along, seemingly for fun.
He’s cheated on my for the last time, I vow. I break it off.
I vow to lose the 20 extra pounds I carry and make him want me.
I spend New Year’s Eve scarfing down a cheeseburger, fries and a bag of my favorite chips.
I wash it all down with Coke and Mountain Dew.
At midnight, I pour what’s left of my 2-liter down the drain.
And I’m done.
The next day, I eat Lean Cuisines and drink Diet Pepsi.
For the next two months I avoid junk food and nurse on a water bottle.
And I do it. I lose the 20 pounds.
And he’s jealous. And he wants me back.
Of course I go back.
I learn that that is a good way to lose weight: binge all you want—you know, get it out of your system.
Over the next 16 years, it’s a tactic I employ time and time again.
Only, I don’t wait for New Years; I do it all the time.
And it doesn’t work. Oh, the bingeing works just fine. I am the queen of binge eating.
But the getting it out of my system? Doesn’t happen.
I balloon to 336 pounds. I am sick.
You probably know the rest by now.
I know lots of people make New Years Resolutions that work.
But if you don’t mind, I’ll skip that tradition.