Posted tagged ‘bariatric surgery’

Crisis and Conversation

March 20, 2013

I’m quite sure I’ve said this before, but I have written so many brilliant pieces for this blog.  And never posted them.  See I run through them in my head first.  Which makes me think I’ve written them.  I haven’t though.  Obviously.  Trust me, they were fantastic.

I get to see my bariatric surgeon twelve hours from now.  We catch up, do blood work, he tells me the surgery was a success, I say, but I’m not a size 4 (even though I know all about the size trickery), and so on.  Yet, I don’t want to go.

I don’t feel he’ll be proud of me.  I’m not, why should he be?  I’ve slacked on my vitamins which is, by the way, incredibly stupid and careless of me.  I’m blaming a mid-life crisis, only without the convertible (too much sun damage), the blonde (Clooney‘s not blonde), or the being 50, let me just say that again, I’m not 50.  But when I do turn 50, 50 will be the new 40.  So be prepared.

I mean really, do we ever learn?  I read a post of a friend and he decided to finally quit smoking, to admit it would be hard and to  be prepared for always wanting a smoke. I totally understand that   On particularly bad days I wonder what food can pass my way that will turn it all around.  Hey, you know what?  Food isn’t magical.  (Except for bacon.)

Those with food addiction love to say “you can give up drinking, but you can’t give up eating.”  I would like to tell my doctor that yes, I want to give up eating.  It’s never really done anything for me.  Sure, I.  Love.  It.  But if he could just do something to change it in some way.  That would be grand.

Think about all the time you spend eating.  If you did not eat, you would have so much more time.  And yet, I think I would miss the conversations the most  I remember times growing up when we had what I called Scratched Up Hamburger.  Sometimes it had onions in it.  I hated it.  That could be why I haven’t bought hamburger in three decades.  But no matter, if that was the dinner, or it was filet mignon from the finest restaurant, the conversation was still what made the meal for me.

I am not alone with my food and conversation thoughts.  You really should read a much better writer and incredible mind, film critic Roger Ebert.  He is now fed through a tube so he does not eat, drink, or speak.  Here’s what he had to say on the subject here

Tomorrow I’ll wake up and say “today I’m gonna be different” and that will last, oh, sometimes 15 minutes.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll think of Roger Ebert and really enjoy my yogurt while I have the option.  Live in the now and go to the gym for real (I have been going twice a day in my head for the past year).    I ‘ll let you know.

 

Drop It Like It’s Hot

August 5, 2012

If you want to get back on track or just lose a few pounds quickly, there are some healthy changes anyone can make.  By anyone I mean anyone, not just bariatric patients.  Many bariatric patients feel that once they have had their procedure they can eat “just like a thin person.”  Little do they know, most thin people work at it.  Very few people just randomly eat what they want when they want and look amazing.  

Start with liquid calories.  Drink water.  I’m talking 100 fluid ounces a day.  Track it too.  I prefer www.myfitnesspal.com but there are many options that are just as free and just as easy to use.  Drink your water.  If you’re a coffee drinker, drink even more water.  And, if you’re a coffee drinker, drink some about a half hour before you work out.  It will help you work harder and longer without you realizing it.  

Ban white pasta and white bread.  If your goal is something like five pounds in a week or so, drop all pasta and bread.  If you’re going for more, start with a white bread and pasta ban, then you can add back in some wheat.  Much like vegetables, the darker the bread or the pasta, the more nutrients it has for you.  

Do 30 minutes of cardio every day for a week.  It would be great if you did it every day forever.  It would be great if I did it every day forever.  Think of your goal.  Is it long term or short term?  If you want to make it a habit then 21 days of 30 minutes of cardio every day will have you missing it on the days you don’t do it.

Besides the white stuff, come on, you already knew French fries weren’t good for you, stop eating one thing.  Baked potato chips every day, one cookie every day, something like that.  A little sacrifice.  It will add up.  

And find a way to add some super foods to your menu.  If you don’t like salmon, try it every possible way because it’s just that good for you.  If you had that twice a week, that would be spectacular.  Blueberries, strawberries, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, turkey, and walnuts are some other super foods.  Make sure you’re taking whatever vitamins are appropriate for your bariatric surgery, for your age, for your health.  Have your blood tested.  Seems everyone is low on vitamin D these days.  

All in all, these are simple and straight forward changes you can make.  Just a few tips to shave off some pounds or jump start a major weight loss.  Remember, you didn’t put the pounds on overnight, it just seems like you did.  They won’t be off by the time you finish reading this.  You have to start somewhere.  Start today.  Start now.  You’re not in it alone.

 

Forgiveness

July 31, 2012

There are many great quotes/cliches regarding forgiveness. Phrases such as:

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ― Alexander Pope

“It is surely better to pardon too much, than to condemn too much.” ― George Eliot

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ― Lewis B. Smedes

And that’s the point I’m getting to, really, sometimes you make yourself a prisoner.  Everyone walks their own path.  Or, in my case, I used to lumber along my own path.  Weight gain has been something that I was never able to forgive myself for.  

Is there something about you that you have not forgiven?  For those of the Catholic faith, as I am, I have gone to confession and received absolution.  Yet I still cannot forgive myself.  As I am writing this I realize that is ridiculous.  Why do I need to hold on to self-inflicted pain?  I gained weight throughout my life for various reasons, I lost a great deal of it, and still I am weighted down.  Why was I not strong enough to not do that to myself in the first place?  Seems to me this is wasted worrying.  I won’t get those years back.  It’s done.  It’s like saying something you wish you hadn’t.  Once it’s out there, it’s out there.  I ate things I wished I hadn’t (later, at the time they were delicious.)  Eating, speaking, writing, hitting, drinking, whatever it was or is that haunts you now, you can’t take it back.  If you read the Big Book from Alcoholics Anonymous it is suggested that you contact those you feel you have wronged and basically try to right it.  If food is your devil, I do not suggest you whisper to your favorite jeans that your sorry you ate so many M&M’s you can no longer wear them.  There are things you can do to change your behavior.

I have realized today that I have had bariatric surgery to help me control my super morbid obesity.  I face every day as a challenge to keep my eating habits healthy and in check.  But I have never, ever forgiven myself for being fat in the first place.  It’s something I need to do.  I’m not going to live forever.  No one is.  Self-loathing and anger at yourself for your addiction is not going to help you help yourself.  

I have been lucky to have had many hands reach out to me as I deal with my food issues.  They are welcome, appreciated, and needed.  However, I also have two capable ones.  I know I can’t move forward without forgiveness first.  And it all starts with me.  (By the way, I didn’t write this as a free pass to skip down the candy aisle merrily tossing chocolates in my mouth.  Mmmmm chocolates.)

Recovery from Addiction Part 3

June 24, 2012

Jane Ellen and Paul talk about food and alcohol addiction

Recovery from Addiction Part 2

June 24, 2012

Jane Ellen and Paul talk about food alcohol addiction

Recovery From Addiction Part 1

June 24, 2012

Jane Ellen and Paul talking about food and alcohol addiction while going through the 12 steps of AA

Queen of Denial

April 27, 2012

When most people diet, they force themselves the foods they desire.  You deny yourself enough and you take in fewer calories, thereby losing weight.  You’re not an idiot, you knew that already.  You also knew that once you are off the diet and you have what you desire again, back it comes.  

That works for some people.  Not everyone,  because if it did we wouldn’t be wallowing in obesity.  Seriously.  I don’t remember this as a child.  I’m in a public place and I look around and people aren’t just a little overweight, they are magnificently huge.  I am amazed by it all.  And yet, there is so little sympathy and understanding.  You see an alcoholic, someone addicted to gambling or nicotine–nd many say they need treatment.  You see someone fat and you say they should just get some exercise and shut their big, fat, mouths.   

But obesity is a symptom of a disease.  Here, I’ll even throw in a definition of precisely what disease is from a medical dictionary:  “An impairment of the body or one of its parts resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.”  

And here’s where denial comes in.  Culturally, we deny the fact that the obese have a disease.  You can’t just wish away diabetes and cancer.  You can’t just wish away obesity either.  Of course every diseased person has that wish.  You have no idea how many times, how many years, I would wish that I would wake up thin.  Or smaller anyway.  I would actually wish I had some non-fatal wasting-away condition and I would just wake up, better, and 100 pounds lighter.  I’m not kidding either.  And I know I’m not alone.  

The non-obese public, in my opinion, denies that obesity is a disease.  The obese deny that they have the responsibility to fight for their health.  They, and I say they based upon my own experience and talking to thousands of obese and formerly obese individuals, they even deny that they ate something.   I have such a problem with that.  Did you eat ALL that?  No, I didn’t.  Uh, wait a minute, maybe I did.  Maybe I did devour all those calories.  Isn’t a can of Pringles a single serving?  No?

Denial is, at its essence, a defense mechanism.  For instance, I will just desire my feelings for you.  That way, if I pretend they don’t exist then I don’t have to deal with them.  Dealing with them would mean I would have to act upon them one way or the other.  However, if they don’t exist then I can stay on my current path.  Deny that you’re fat.  Deny that you’re in love.  Deny that you’re a failure.  Deny that your life is a cesspool.  Denial comes in pretty handy.  

It’s been said that once you accept you’re out of control then you can start to rebuild.  I have always said I am in control of my actions, the good and the bad.  I don’t blame anyone for anything I do. So,  I guess it comes down to this.  Admit to yourself that what you’re doing and the life you’re living is or is not satisfying to you.  I would say, “are you happy?” but I have only vague recollections of a few minutes of what I would call happy.  I have spent most of my life denying my feelings about anything (except my children).  I have tried to contain major highs–because you can go nowhere but down, and major lows–because they suck.  Consequently, I am almost always detached, level, numb.  It takes a lot to keep yourself numb.  

However, in my case, I have so many memories of food equaling happy that I turn to it to change my mood.  And I realize I have always done that.  That’s why I understand the alcoholics, the smokers, the junkies.  You get in such a state of denial that you just want to feel nothing.  Or maybe you want to feel what you think is normal.  I actually get a rush of happy when I shop.  I feel almost that good when thinking about what I need to buy.  Just looking at shoes online can flip me like a pancake. (Mmmmm, pancakes.)  I try to channel it for good when I work as a stylist.  I can accessorize as brilliantly as I can cook.  However, it makes me wonder.

Can anyone truly get past denial?  Or is the act of avoidance so ingrained that we, collectively, are doomed to live unsatisfied lives?  My personal belief is only you, the person who wants to change, can change.  No one else can change you.  It all starts with you.  If you feel a change is in order, and then you can’t seem to move past it, then, other than feeling totally fucked, you have to kick it into gear.  What’s just one thing you can change so your life will be what you want it to be?  I started with bread.  I gave it up completely.  Now that I’ve conquered that I need to take a bigger step.  I guess I’ll need some new shoes for that.