Super Inspired Writer

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Wednesday, April 30

It's been a while...

I am still treading water, staying afloat. My head is finally above the water, I am breathing air, but the hard work of the longevity of the journey will be much harder than getting to the surface. So here we go.

I lost a pound…still averaging about two weeks to drop just one. It’s all good because I’m still moving forward and that’s what matters. What’s more than the one pound though is that losing this big ONE took me into another weight class, weight decade, or weight dimension, whatever the hell you want to call it. A place where I haven’t been since fall of 2002. As exciting as it all is, it’s fucking scary too. It’s like having déjà vu where you have been there before but you have forgotten all the familiarity of it and aren’t quite sure how to navigate. As awesome as it is to be that girl who lost all the weight, I want to just be me again. This person, this size, is just me.

I had a check-up today with my PCP and as expected it went extremely well. Having once been borderline diagnosed with high blood pressure, the prescription practically in my mouth, my blood pressure is now low and healthy. My pulse is lower too as my heart no longer has to struggle just to keep me alive. I would love to credit it all to the weight loss itself, but really it’s all the running. As my body muscles continue to strengthen so does my heart muscle. My heart may explode but it won’t be from over-exertion. My BMI is 31......has to be under 29 to not be obese's right there within my reach...

Each pound, each mile, each meal, I am re-learning how to live. 

Wednesday, April 23

The Good Wife

It has been said many times that a mother wears many hats. Chef. Chauffer. Therapist. Maid. Teacher. Nurse. Hairdresser. Banker. The list goes on and on.

A wife wears many hats too. Friend. Lover. Supporter. Hood Ornament.

When my husband reads this he will say that I’m crazy but that is nothing new so I am gonna do what I do best and that is write.

One of the things that bothered me most when I was 80 lbs heavier is that I didn’t think I looked “good enough” to stand by my husband. Let me be specific. When you are married to someone in an administrative job in a public scene, you are just as much an accessory to that position as a DKNY neck tie. At size 24 I always cringed with a fake half-smile when I was introduced as the “lovely wife.” Because, well, let’s be realistic, I had let myself go. I was not being the best I could be for myself and my family. And it was embarrassing.

You may agree or disagree that appearances matter, that it’s what’s inside that counts. And as much as I want to believe this, the truth of the matter is that if you don’t feel good about yourself it doesn’t matter what size you are, you will not look good. There are plenty of people of all sizes that radiate when they enter a room. I wasn’t that person at my highest weight, I wasn’t me, so for the sake of this blog, please understand I am not saying you can’t be plus-sized and beautiful.

Now that’s clear, let’s get back to my story. Last night at a volunteer gala, my husband was told by at least three silver-haired seniors that he had such a “lovely wife.” For the first time in a long time I felt kinda lovely, and very proud to be at his side. I didn’t need the compliments of looking lovely for my self-esteem, I am a work in progress, and if I was Sophia Vergara’s doppelgänger I would find something about my body to bitch about. But I was happy to be lovely for him. That people thought he had something lovely adorning him, like a well tailored suit.

Do it for yourself!  We are told this over and over. But that’s only half the picture. I am not just myself. My kids and husband are me. What I do for myself I do for them. And once in a while when that is validated, it feels euphoric.

Friday, April 18

Finding the ONE

Today is Good Friday so the school district gave us the day off. To be honest with you, I would have rather had Monday off so that I didn’t have to worry about lesson plans and bedtimes during Easter but it is what it is. By 10 am I already had baked two dozen “hard-boiled” eggs (that’s the kitsch way to prepare them now), made a beer bread with orange shandy, and baked two dozen Funfetti cupcakes for Sunday.  Having a day off is great for these reasons, in between I did four loads of laundry, vacuumed, and somehow managed to get my shit together enough to take my kids and three of their friends to the park.

But as the saying goes…you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life. The facts of life.

Being home for me means grazing. I feel like I have eaten nothing all day but really when you add it up I had ¼ cup of cottage cheese, a yogurt, some tuna, two hard-boiled eggs whose shells didn’t survive the impact of cooking. Oh yeah, a few spoons of mac and cheese, a piece (or two) of a taquito…had to taste that beer bread to make sure it was worthy…etc.  Luckily I have a healthy dinner planned but really, it’s all these stupid BLTs (bites, licks and tastes) that add up. This is where most people mess up…they think they are doing so well and not losing weight when in reality they are ingesting up to a thousand cals a day in bites. It’s a horrible reality.

But the silver lining in all of this is that my band is really speaking to me now! This last fill may have been “the one” after all because since Tuesday I have felt very different. Each time I have eaten a meal I have felt clear restriction and the past two days I have actually felt stuck and had to PB it up. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a great thing to have happen, but it’s a learning tool, kinda like getting your hand slapped. It tells me that I may be finally in my Green Zone, that magical place where you are neither too tight, nor too lose, like Goldilocks eating her porridge, this time it’s just right.

Had to have pockets. For my phone. Don't judge.
The first time I got stuck this week it was on a hand full of Doritos. I did feel a little redeemed in this since I was breaking my Lent (again.) The second time just today it was on a chewy chocolate chip cookie. Both came right back up and although it was gross, there really is no better reminder that you just can’t do that shit anymore. That it’s not worth it.

But you know what is worth it? Being able to Google “strapless little black dress with pockts” and punching in your size and having it arrive UPS and zip right up no questions asked. That’s like an Urband Legend!! Score!

Tuesday, April 15

Final Fill??

One of the best parts of having contracted “sick days” is the language thereof. Today I had the whole day off for an appointment that was scheduled for 2:30. What did I do in my free time? Went to the gym of course, and tried to burn off the Tostitos and cheese dip I ate the night before.  These mini “last suppers” happen before a fill because as each one changes your tolerance levels just a bit, you never know what will go down easy anymore. Also after a fill there is a dip in weight loss because of the liquid diet requirement, so having a little indulgence is okay.

The whole past week I have been trying to decide if I was going to get an adjustment today at my appointment. I have pretty decent restriction at this point, I’m eating my normal diet foods, I’m getting full after a serving, I’m making good choices. But….there was that slice of Sbarro pizza over spring break. And also the aforementioned fish sandwich from McD’s a week ago….so….I decided yes I did want a fill. Also, my next appointment falls right before Disney and I didn’t want to be filled right before in case the numbers were off. At least if I were too full this time, I would have time to get loosened if I needed to.

Double-wide Bariatric Chair
When I got into the Bariatric center, they were of course very happy with my progress. I was down 8 lbs. since my last appointment in January to make an even 80. Although I had documented this already at home, I wanted to make this milestone there as well for verification. During my nutritional consultation, we didn’t talk so much about diet anymore. I know the rules and routine. Instead I shared my overall fear of overeating with them. To tell you the truth they were a bit surprised I wanted a fill since I was doing so well and maintaining my daily calorie allowance. But I insisted, the ghost of filet-o-fish past haunting me.

Fill 'er up!!
They reminded me that the point wasn’t to be so full of saline that I couldn’t eat a nice meal once in a while. That if my weight loss was good I might be filled enough. And that’s when I also confessed my transfer eating disorder to them. Instead of being an over eater, I now have food anxiety. There are worse things than a 400-calorie burger, but even so I punish myself to liquids the next day.  Or worse yet, I graze on bites of junk food for a few hours then punish myself with no supper. The nutritionist suggested it might be time to go back in to see a psych. That my food aversions, although very normal, shouldn’t get in the way from eating in general. I am so very afraid to gain weight back that all logic and reason is lost.

The surgeon did give me the fill. Another ½ cc puts me at a total of 4. Said he was jealous I had only 9 weeks left of school since he would like to hike and bike ride through the mountains all summer.  What a lovely thought….

Saturday, April 12

80 is GREAT-y

And sometimes, just sometimes, a lot of hard work and discipline totally pays off.

Today I hit 80 lbs LOSS….I can’t even believe it. When people ask how much I have lost I don’t have to say seventy-something. I can say eighty. Just eighty.

I totally attribute these five pounds since my 1-year in March to the absence of chips and popcorn in my diet. That shit is just not good for me, even if I’m counting every calorie in every kernel. Sure, I’m still having some here and there, but they are no longer a staple in my daily diet, taking the place of healthier snack options.

I am not perfect though, and never have been, that is very important to note. For example, my daughter found a contraband bag of Ruffles potato chips in the armrest of my car, with three missing. “You broke your lent!” she said, followed by, “oh well, pray to Jesus so you are forgiven.” Sometimes, it’s great to be Catholic.

Those chips lasted a full week, and I’m talking the little bag from the checkout at Jewel. I had been eyeing them for awhile, Buffalo Chicken flavor (Buffalo Wild Wings sauce at that!) and finally I gave in and threw them on the belt like an underage teenager buying a pack of cigs. Each day, I would take a few out when I got in my car, and nervously looking out the window I would eat them.

Then there was the fish sandwich. Yes, the fish sandwich was an EVENT. Took my kids to McD’s like I do every Thursday after Piano lessons. Usually I would get a grilled chicken salad, or wrap (tortillas don’t go down well anymore) but since then I have stopped ordering to opt for something healthier at home. When we got in the car, my kids find a burger in the bag! No way I think, it must be a mirage. Sure as shit when we get home there is a hot and steamy Filet-o-Fish in the goddamned bag. I had two choices here, throw it right away, or just take a bite. I ended up sucking that whole thing down in about three bites, each one just as tasty, juicy, and tarter-saucy as the next. I stared at the empty container a whole two minutes later and felt….conflicted. And pissed. And out of control. Not to mention curious how I can get stuck on a piece of Chinese chicken on Wednesday and eat a whole friggin fish sandwich on a bun on Thursday.

The good news is that since my system hadn’t seen that much grease in weeks, it expedited itself out of my system the next morning in a fury. The scale didn’t even budge. I was spared. This time. Friday I made up for it with a vegetarian menu and a two mile jog around my neighborhood. And here we are today.

Sure, we all have to remember that having a full life sometimes means a cookie here and there…but as I get closer and closer to my goal I think if I can just be that much more disciplined until then, maybe I can enjoy a treat here and there. For now the reward of fattening foods just doesn’t outweigh the risks. Onward ho.