Super Inspired Writer

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Sunday, September 18

Control Yourself


Like Janet Jackson, I want to be the one in control.
Sometimes it really does take a good kick in the shin for you to get your shit together. For me it was losing the buyer on our house that has been for sale since the first of the year. I was just sitting down to write a blog post and tell everyone what I was up to….how I was about to start a “Pouch Test Diet” (more on that later), when my husband came home to say the deal fell through. We were supposed to have moved next week 9/23 and now are not. The End. Because of the decisions of someone ELSE, my plan to move to a bigger house and get the kids situated this fall was not happening. I was devastated, I cried, I screamed.  This was not the first time and won’t be the last time that I was reminded there are some things we just CANNOT CONTROL under any circumstances, they are left to good or bad luck, God’s plan, karma, or for no reason at all…however you chose to look at it. No matter what we do or don’t, how hard we pray, what other ju-ju we try…..somethings are just what they are, and that’s a hard lesson to learn.
I have always been able to research, study, practice, reach out, contact people, and use my skill set to get outcomes that I want. Shows I wanted to be in, jobs I’ve had, schooling and degrees I wanted, summer reading agenda, running a 5K, reaching my weight loss goals, etc etc. Once again I realized that this time nothing I did was going to help and I started falling into a depression. Everything just felt shitty.

People will then continuously remind you how THIS is not a REAL “PROBLEM”. Well, no kidding.

Doesn’t make it feel any better. Still don’t feel like skipping around just happy to be alive. We are wired to feel the good the bad and the ugly and I am someone who feels super deeply about everything. It’s who I am. My husband gets it, he knows when to tell me to calm the fuck down, and when to let me take an hour long shower because I am sobbing in there privately. Others are trying to help by reminding you that your life is blessed and this is just another blemish on your face. I know that advice is coming from a good place…but there are only so many times you can be told something bigger and better is on its way before you want to throat punch somebody.
I really had zero choice here but to put on my big girl panties and move on.

Cauliflower Fried "Rice"
But there was the other elephant in the room that was adding to my feelings of being inept. The elephant that was getting bigger and bigger (literally) while everything else was getting tended to. I had promised myself that this school year I was going to lose the 30 lbs I gained last school year. This is something that is 100% in my control. One of the only things any of us can control in fact because only we can decide what and how much we eat and how much to exercise. I started on the first day of school with a “5 Day Pouch Test Diet” that I got on my online "LapBand Divas" support group. Basically you are retraining your pouch (the new stomach that is made from the band or the sleeve surgeries) to do what it’s supposed to do. Days one and two are liquid only, day three is mashed food, day four is finely chopped food, and day five is back to regular diet.  You know, that diet I have only "kinda" been following.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
I put my extra energy  every day into my body instead of my house worries. I started looking up recipes again instead of statistics on Zillow. I started cooking and planning meals again. I went back to the basics of good, healthy eating and tried some new cauliflower concoctions I found on Pinterst.  I started reaching out to support group members again. I went to Zumba again and started walking again. After all my momwork, housework, and schoolwork was finished it was my bodywork time. Me time.

Month 1 and I have lost my first 10 lbs!!!! I am working hard at it, I am not cheating, I am eating clean and little by little I am doing it.  Because I am all I got for this outcome, it’s all on me and no one else.

I am in control.

Monday, August 8

What Happens in Vegas...


Last week I spent my 14th wedding anniversary in Las Vegas. This place has special meaning for us because it was where we spent our Honeymoon and then also our 10-yr Decamoon. I swore we would be back before 15 and since it didn’t look like we were moving this summer as we had originally planed, we booked a trip and got the Hell out of dodge.

I had two months to get my ass in shape for this trip, but in the end I hadn’t been able to lose any weight, so it was what it was. I was going to Vegas heavier than my honeymoon, but also 60 lbs less than my 10-year trip...so decided to just focus on that success and make the best of it.

You may or may not know that I am an online shopping aficionado, so I was able to find some fun dresses, a hot pink bikini (skirt bottom of course), a strapless jumper, and even some unmentionables. We sent the kids off with the Grandparents, and were on our way.

I had learned last summer when we went on our Disney Cruise that it’s not a good idea to eat before any flights. The altitude, stress of flying, my severe motion sickness (2 Dramamine to knock me out), etc. makes for a miserable experience if there is anything remotely close to your band. Me and Lola learned this the hard way so this time I was sure to only eat things that were going to slide that day and luckily was able to avoid hogging the cramped up airplane bathroom, thank God. The only thing worse than having to actually USE an airplane bathroom is having to puke in one. That was a hand slap to last a lifetime.

Once we landed was a different story. I decided with CERTAINTY that I was going to eat whatever I wanted and try and taste everything!!! Now that I was involved in several new online support groups, several members ask how to maintain the Bariatric Diet while travelling or vacationing, but you know what I say about that? I should be doing that all the time…..4 days of vacation out of 365 CANNOT DERAIL my diet. I had already done that from the comfort of my own home, so why make myself miserable and feel guilty in Sin City for fulfilling my delicious dreams?

Now, clearly I had to make Lap-Band decisions that would keep me from having to excuse myself from the table to purge, or make myself too sick or stuffed to enjoy all the fun, so I did remove buns off of burgers. I also took tiny bites of macaroni and cheese, savaged the seafood buffets, ate my weight in mashed potatoes, and enjoyed gelato in Venice. I mean The Venetian, Las Vegas. I had a Dairy Queen Oreo flavored blizzard, bites of pizza and French fries, and a Ghirardelli salted caramel sundae.

Oh, and did I mention all the high-calorie and heavy handed daiquiris, margaritas, and cocktails…..I mean....just a few….

But I also walked a ton in the 110 degree heat. I also danced and splashed in the pool. I enjoyed my time with my Husband remembering all the things we first loved about each other.

And in the blink of an eye, it was over. And I’m home.

And I didn’t gain a damn pound.

My next planned trip to Vegas is in about a year and a half when I turn 40….but as I have learned all too well…..what I plan and what happens is hardly ever the same thing. So WHENEVER that next trip happens, now that Lola has got my back, we will be armed and ready. Further validation that the damned surgery really was the best decision I have made and the turning point of my life.

But until then, the reality of back-to-school has set in, and the PARTY IS OFFICIALLY OVER, all good things must come to an end, and the real diet and exercise resumes to finally lose these stubborn pounds I have put back on.

Thursday, July 28

Solidarity


They say good friends should be like a good bra….hold you up when you are down, make you look and feel fabulous, and are always close to your heart.

Last week, after I wrote my manifesto about needing and wanting support …I figured after pouring out my struggle for all to hear, I had to actually do it. Find the support that is. I had such a huge response of love and comments and likes for my blog post that I had the push I needed to seek and follow through.

The first step I took was figuring out exactly what I wanted to say (and you think this just comes so easily for me) and draft an intro about myself that would explain who I am TODAY. Not who I was on March 4, 2013, but TODAY after being on the road for so long. I started with contacting my own FB support group that I am the admin for.  I felt like I had abandoned them because I had been going strong with keeping the group active and talking, taking in new members and fostering a good question and answer forum. I said I was sorry that I hadn’t been posting anymore, that I felt like I really effed up and just didn’t want to face myself or anybody else for that matter.

You know what? Everyone was going through the SAME THING. So by acknowledging my fault and asking for help, I was opening the door for everyone else to do the same. One of our members that hadn’t been to the surgeon and didn’t want to do the walk of shame, decided to make an appointment just because I said I had just done this and it wasn’t that scary or embarrassing. Another of our members also wrote a blog post of their own again, who like me hadn’t written in ages and didn’t want to write and have to say they had backtracked. Right there that FIRST DAY in seeking help, others were starting to come forward.

The second thing I did was get together for dinner with two friends that also had surgery. Yes we had two baskets of chips and Margaritas… but we were MEETING face to face to talk about what was, what is, and what can be. We agreed to try much harder to have a monthly dinner if anything for the prof and validation that we are still IN THIS. For accountability good or bad.

Step three was to search for some new online groups. I know it has been ages since I actually took the effort required to type “weight loss surgery support” in the search bar on Facebook, but I was pleasantly surprised how many groups there were. There were some general groups for all weight loss surgery patients, and then there were two specific groups for Lap Band patients I was particularly interested in. The admins added me right away and I posted my……Hi, my name is Rosie from Chicago…

What happened next was VERY UNEXPECTED, though if I was paying more attention in math class during the probability unit should have been crystal clear. In came tons of comments from men and women like me who also had gained back about 30%, or about 30 lbs., and they were all struggling to get it back off. This is the STATISTICAL relapse after a few years’ time so clearly it would be a pretty popular problem. It is the exact thing we are told at our very first appointment, then quickly remove from our memory thinking we are magically exempt from it ever rearing its ugly head.  I kept hearing things from the new people I was meeting like….I’m with you….30 for me too….wtf is going on??....how do I get back on track… I need help too….etc. etc.  A few of these members are from my area and asked to be invited if we have another unofficial support group meeting of our own. The least I can do is tell them where and when, I mean the more the merrier right?

Misery loves company.

Wednesday, July 20

Still. Here.


I am still here.

Right. Here.

It has taken a lot of persuasion from my blog followers to write up a post almost a year from my last one, because as I seek help and guidance for my current situation, I am reminded how essential this blog was when I was going through my surgery three and a half years ago. How it was my lifeline and kept me focused through the good, the bad, and the ugly of what Weight Loss Surgery really is.

So here I am now, sitting at the computer that was my best friend those lonely nights when I tried to be so strong and inspiring and positive while I was throwing up behind the scenes when no one was looking. Or when I was throwing up when everyone was looking, but just didn’t care anymore because it became my new normal.

Going back to work full-time changed EVERYTHING. I have been a stay-at-home-mom, and I have been a working-mom, and let me tell you both are less than ideal for several reasons but this blog is not about the pros and cons of working outside of the home. I will tell you however how some of the side effects of working full time totally derailed all my efforts of staying on a straight weight loss line.

I USED TO wake up at my leisure, get kids ready and off to school, make breakfast on the stove, go to the gym and run my three miles, come home and shower and make my packed lunch, then work a few hours and come home and make dinner.

NOW I rush, rush everyone out of bed, ready for school, myself ready and presentable in clothes and make-up for work, then in the car by 7:15 to drop off kids by my parents and get to work early enough that I can actually leave at a decent time in the afternoon. Breakfast? Oops…looks like a Frappuccino again. Lunch? Oops….looks like Jimmy John’s (because it’s soooo much better than McDonald’s the commercial says) Dinner? Oops….nothing is ready or defrosted and the fridge is bare and the kids have a million activities so looks like pizza.

Now…if you are wondering how I had been eating those things, since I had shared in TMI detail that I could not swallow such heavy meals and buns and crust….well…..expectedly that’s all that was there so that’s what I ate and just as expectedly it would come up….EVERY. TIME. Fast forward to 10 pm when even though I chewed and swallowed three meals, my stomach was still empty and so began my addiction to Ben and Jerry’s pints of ice cream. So delicious and went down like a dream.

If you would have told me three years ago that I would go down this path I would have laughed at you. I had a Lap-Band named Lola and she was Wonderwoman. When the surgeon pre-op told me the side-effects of Lap-Band surgery and that many patients allow themselves to get way too tight and into bad habits by starting addictions to Frappuccino and Ice Cream pints… and gain back an average of 30% of their loss, that’s what I did is laugh. Because that was sure as shit NOT going to happen to me!!!

It happened to me. I gained back 30 of my 90 lbs.

So fast forward to recent days when I did the walk of shame after not having been in the office in  months and I sobbed in the double wide chair because I had failed. I had become the statistic I wasn’t going to be. I was humiliated. The staff was pretty supportive but also as firm as new parents. The nutritionist went over the required diet with me and it ended with an I know all this I just can’t do it. You can do it so just do it. The surgeon just had to give me “the look” and I apologized and said I would do anything to go back to when everything was easy and happy and me and Lola were BFFs. It was at that appointment we decided that I would have a complete unfill of saline from my band and we would start over again as if I were brand-new. First and foremost, they had to stop me from puking several times a day, which also has its own horrible consequences and can lead to a band slip which would mean an additional surgery to either fix or remove the device. We also talked about the almost inevitable revision surgery where the band is removed and then a different weight loss surgery is performed at that time such as RNY or Sleeve. I’m not so na├»ve to think that this is all it will be for me since I’m not even 40, and another surgery down the road is more likely than not, but for TODAY it’s just me and Lola and goddamn it, Lola and I need to get our shit together.

I have since been back twice and both times haven’t lost any of my regained weight and both times felt like a real asshole. I am eating what I’m supposed to (but cheating) in the amounts I’m supposed to (kinda) and exercising (lamely) and I am refilled now back up to a 2.5cc of saline. I was up to 5 when all hell broke loose.

And I WISH I could say that’s all that I have going on right now but of course it’s not. I’m still posting smiling photos of my kids, but I’m not in the pictures much anymore. I can’t look at myself because I am so pissed off about such a myriad of bullshit right now. In all this I decided to sell my house (nightmare) and help plan my 20-yr high school reunion (because I’m crazy) and I’m feeling like a shadow in my life and to be quite honest I don’t have the strength within myself to type any of it and you don’t have the listening time available.

So let’s focus on Lola, shall we, and my 30 lb weight-loss that I have to lose…again.

 
But I am still here.