Maui Bound

So I’m going on my first ‘big’ vacation since my surgery. The husband and I are headed to Maui in just a bit, a trip we normally would not be able to afford but my incredibly generous in-laws are there and are paying for us to come meet them. This will also be my first time on an airplane in years. The last time I flew I needed a seatbelt extender, I bet I fit into a seat this time around.

I’m not too worried about being terribly strict with my diet or finding healthy low carb options while I’m there. There’s tons of fish and I can get FRESH ahi tuna and mahi mahi, which makes me very happy. My one real indulgence is going to be fresh pineapple juice but I’ll balance it out with some protein so my blood sugar doesn’t decide to go insane.

I really am very excited about this trip. I love Maui (I’d live there if I could manage it) and I could really use this time to unwind and destress. Maybe I’ll get brave enough to get in front of the camera for a few vacation pictures. Been a long time since I’ve done that.

Mean Girls and Weight Loss Surgery

This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. I’ve noticed a trend in the post weight loss surgery world, one that kind of bothers me. I’ve noticed a lot of us (and I’ve been guilty of it myself so I’m not pointing fingers at anybody) turn into ‘mean girls’ after surgery.

An example. Someone posts a picture comparing a curvy girl (usually the lovely Marilyn Monroe) to someone who might be considered by most standards too thin. The comments on the thin girl are cutting. Some examples: That’s so gross! That’s unattractive! She looks sooooo unhealthy! That’s disgusting.

Those same comments posted on a photo of an obese woman would have us all frothing at the mouth, getting out the torches and pitchforks, and all out lynching the people making such insensitive comments. Why do we find it acceptable in the first case but not in the second? Is there really a difference between saying the obese woman looks disgusting or saying the thin woman looks disgusting?

In my mind? No, there’s not much difference. I’m no size advocate but, personal preferences aside, I don’t think either is acceptable. I wonder if some of us just forget how hurtful and hateful those kinds of comments really are.

What do all of you think? I really want to hear opinions.

Happy Post Thanksgiving!

I hope everybody had a great holiday yesterday. We had a great day here filled with family and a dear friend who spends every Thanksgiving with us as her family is on the other side of the country. It’s become a tradition to have her here every year.

I have a post I’ve been working up to that I hope to have up sometime this weekend. It may rock a few boats but, eh, what can I say? I’m so not a people pleaser.

Hunger

One of the great side-effects of the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is my lack of hunger. One of the things the VSG does is significantly reduces the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Some people never lose their hunger. Some people lose it for awhile and it comes back after six months or so. I can say for myself, at nearly 10 months out I rarely experience physical hunger.

It is difficult to describe the difference between my hunger pre-surgery and the hunger I experience now. Pre-surgery, my hunger was a desperate, almost panicky feeling. Even worse, I felt it all the time. I was never ‘not hungry’. I could eat to the point of being stuffed, physically uncomfortable even, and less than an hour later I’d feel as if I was starving again. Since my surgery, I have not felt that way, not even once. When I do get hungry, I can ignore it for a bit. Prior to surgery it was a constant roar in the back of my mind. After surgery, it is a meow and a quiet one at that.

When I see someone who had a VSG panicking because they are feeling hungry again, I don’t really know what to say to them. Hunger is normal, naturally thin people get hungry too. What is not normal is the way hunger affected us before surgery. It can also be difficult to determine if what you are feeling truly is hunger. Is it head hunger? Is it stomach acid? Stomach acid can mimic the symptoms of hunger to the point the two can become very confused.

More

Broken

The small intestine.

Image via Wikipedia

For approximately ten years, maybe a little more, I’ve had undiagnosed lower quadrant ‘gut pain’. The very first time I experienced it, it sent me to the ER. The positioning and type of pain seriously had me believing I had appendicitis. It was not. I had no fever. My white blood cell count was normal and the CT scan they did showed a perfectly normal looking appendix. What it did show was an inflamed ileum.

The gastroenterologist the surgeon called to look at me (since the surgeon did not want to perform surgery on me unless 100% necessary) admitted me to the hospital and pumped me full of enough antibiotics to cure a small third world country of syphilis. The pain went away but the cause for it was never found.

A few months later, I had the same pain. Went to get it scanned. This time the ileum was not inflamed. Neither was my appendix. The solution? Pain medication (which did not work but made me care less I was hurting) and steroids. Joy of joys. If you’ve never had to be on prednisone, you don’t understand what a joy this crap is. And by joy I mean hell.

Because of this weird, undiagnosable pain, I had my first colonoscopy before I was 35. The results were nothing out of the ordinary. I did have a polyp that was removed, but it was not the cause of my pain. A second colonoscopy a few years later yielded the same ‘no answer’ results.

I’ve been poked. I’ve been prodded. Changing my diet seemed to help a little. Since going fairly strictly low carb, the pain has improved. It’s not quite so often, but I still get it. When I do get it, it’s awful. The pain nearly doubles me over.

I don’t know what to do. On days like today, when the pain strikes out of nowhere, all I want to do is curl up and cry. I have, in fact, cried a lot today. It REALLY hurts. It’s a sharp, stabbing pain that also throbs. It also just exhausts me. I got a full night’s sleep and already feel like I haven’t slept a single minute.  Add that to the frustration of not having lost a single pound in three months, in spite of doing everything ‘right’ and following all the ‘rules’, and I’m feeling more than a little broken today.

New Clothes!

I could not put it off any longer. Yesterday I went to Target and got some new clothes. I was especially in need of some new britches. I only had a couple pairs of pants that fit and they were either leggings or stretchy exercise type pants (my favorite is a pair of yoga pants). I haven’t had much luck with thrift stores, but Target is inexpensive enough for me to not feel too guilty and buy a variety of things without breaking the bank.

I admit it was a little daunting at first because I had no idea what size I wore. The couple pairs I had were a 2x but I had NO idea what that translated to. Turns out, at least in Target clothing, that’s a 20. So I’m in a size 20 down from a 26 and a 2x down from a 4/5x. I’ll take it for now.

What’s this, an update?

I haven’t posted in awhile. The truth is, I’ve been really frustrated with my weight loss or lack thereof. I try to tell myself all things will happen in time. If I follow the program, I won’t be able to help but lose weight. Still, it gets incredibly frustrating when you do everything right (though I DO need to exercise more) and the weight loss slows or becomes almost non-existent.

To make things worse, I actually GAINED 4 pounds. There is no way with the amount of calories and carbs (Less than 900 calories a day and generally around 30 grams of carbs) I consume that I could gain that much weight in less than a week. It may just be water weight but I’m not sure. My hands don’t feel too puffy (maybe a little) and I can usually tell when I’m bloated from water but, you can imagine just how ‘meh’ that left me feeling. I’ve been averaging 10 pounds a month weight loss but gaining back that four pounds (even IF it’s just water) has put me off that average.

Maybe I’m just impatient, I don’t know. I try really, really hard not to compare myself to other people because I know it’s unhealthy and can lead to disappointment. It’s still really difficult to see people who had their surgeries after I did and who have much less weight to lose than I did losing more weight since their surgeries than I have.

I should be very happy. In total, I’ve lost 124 pounds (120 if you count this four inexplicable pounds I managed to gain). 64 pounds were lost pre-surgery. That leaves the other 60 post surgery, in six months time. I am proud of that weight loss but I still somehow feel as if it’s ‘not good enough’. I’m starting to have fears I always kind of laughed off when I saw other people posting. “What if this is it?” I know, deep down, it isn’t but I’ve failed so many times in the past, those old demons tend to rear their ugly heads.

I’ve been sick a lot this winter, just like I am every freaking winter, which hasn’t helped any. I’m finally getting some energy back but I was hit with back to back illnesses (including a 24 hour stomach bug) and left with a lingering cough. Now that I’m finally feeling better, I should be able to step up my exercise. I need some great ideas though since I simply can not afford to join a gym right now, no matter how much I want to, or spend a lot of money buying things to help me exercise.

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