Fighting the want to be social.

I realize that is a strange title for a blog post. This post will likely be a huge jumbled mess, so I ask for your patience. I’m trying to explain why I am the way I am.

I have in the past called myself an introvert, but there are times I don’t think that title fits me. People say I talk too much. I tend to babble. In many ways, the title of introvert does fit. I like having a quiet house. I have a couple of “close” friends. A book in a quiet place is great, but most of all, it is exhausting to be social face to face. Yes, I’m making the face to face distinction for a reason.

Being social face to face is extremely exhausting for me. I’m trying to pay attention to everyone. I’m trying not to be too weird. I’m trying to fight all of the stimulation that is going on as I am easily over stimulated. Going to a restaurant, a concert, a crowded beach, the amusement park, the bar… all of those things can be lots of fun, but they also have lots of outside stimulation. I try to focus on who I am with, but mentally I’m being pulled in so many areas and that wears me out mentally really fast. I then have to fight being short and cranky to be present in the moment.  I fight social anxiety every day of my life.

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http://slaplaughter.danoah.com/33-memes-for-every-introvert/

Now, just because it is hard for me, doesn’t mean I will always say no. I want to be invited to do the thing. This is very important to remember. I can’t stress this enough. I want to be invited to do the thing so I know that I’m important enough to be considered a friend, or someone worth having around. My company is valued. Just please keep in mind that having the energy to socialize is super difficult, so if I do go to do the thing, know that I’m trying.

Now, I did mention above that I made the distinction of face to face interaction. This is where I believe my weight has greatly affected my ability to be social. While online, I can open up and be weird, strange, and talkative. I know that part of it is that I don’t have to see the looks on peoples faces when they see me. I don’t have to see the judgement of my weight; I don’t have to see the cringes or judgement on their faces when I say something a bit awkward.

Should any of that matter? No. People whether in person or online, should accept people for who they are no matter what. That isn’t the way the world works, and the fact is that I have experienced so many snide comments about my weight for so long, it has made it so I don’t want to go out in public. Hiding behind the computer screen is much easier for me.

So that is my long winded, complicated way of saying… being social is super hard for me. Now that I’ve lost weight and feel better about myself as a whole, I want to be social, but it is just so hard to do so.

My Weighty Story: 4 months and counting

So it has been 4 months.

4 months since I changed my life forever. Let me tell you, it is harder than I thought it would be (and that is saying something folks). It’s not just the physical, but also the mental. Do I regret it?

HELL NO!

Food continues to be a challenge. I’m trying to find more interesting things to eat, but it’s boring, and then when it’s not, the scale slows. It is a really hard balance and I fight it each and every day. This doesn’t even get into the issue of grieving for food. Cheeseburgers were my all time favorite pre-surgery. I get sad at the fact I can’t just stuff a huge cheeseburger in my mouth and moan in the ecstasy of fat, grease, cheese, beef, onion rings, and bread. Yes, the “Don’t bother me I’m eating” commercials of Carl’s Jr. come to mind.

However, I can’t stress enough how much of a difference getting my protein in for the day makes me feel. I’ve really been working very hard at making sure I hit that 60+ grams of protein in day. I feel the difference at the end of the day when I don’t and the next morning is much harder to get moving.

The hair loss struggle is real. My husband says it isn’t as bad as I think it is, but he isn’t the one brushing his hair and seeing huge amounts in the brush, or washing it in the shower and massive strings being tangled up in his fingers. I won’t even lie that have cried about this a few times. There just really isn’t much we can do about it though. I stand by my belief that I will be bald for a year if it means getting healthy. Few more months, and it will grow back. It’s only hair. There are bigger things going on here.

The good news is that scale is moving (again) after a long stall. I think that is due to resetting what I was eating, and upping my exercise. I’m swimming now on top of the walking / running that I’ve been doing. To be fair, it’s more walking that running as it really has been aggravating my back.

I know there is a lot of bitching so let me tell you some things that are all positives:

  1. The scale did start moving again.
  2. I do not recognize myself in the mirror anymore. (There is a total disconnect between who I feel I am and who looks back at me in the mirror.)
  3. I can buy clothes in the regular part of the store. ( THIS IS HUGE YA’LL)
  4. My Dr. said I am no longer MORBIDLY OBESE! Again. This is HUGE.
  5. I am seeing changes in my body. Yes. This includes loose skin, which I didn’t think would bother me so much. It just feels weird, like a sweater I can’t take off that is way too big.
  6. I can just do more. I had a real hectic couple weeks at work, which included overtime, plus I was still getting up extra early to work out every day, and a year ago, I would not have been able to do that. I just have more energy.
  7. I can walk farther without having to stop to catch my breath, or just feel tired. This ties into #6, but it’s such a huge milestone that I have to mention it.
  8. Tying into #6 and #7, I was able to vacuum the house and I didn’t fall apart. Yea, this needs explanation. I have problems with my back and vacuuming the house would set it off in the worst way. A couple years ago, I vacuumed and my back went out so bad I spent 2 days with my head in a trashcan and a family debating whether they should take me to the ER. In hindsight, maybe they should have but not the point. Since then I haven’t been doing things like vacuuming the house to prevent that very thing. IT seems silly, I know, but from a health standpoint, it’s a pretty bid deal.
  9. I bought a PRETTY BRA. Yes. This gets added to the list because when you are fat, you get support. It’s all about support vs the fashion, because well SUPPORT.
  10. I see actual, real, muscles developing.

The other day a friend and I went to Kohls to get me some new bras, because weight loss = smaller boobs. Fact of life.  While we were there, we were looking through the clearance clothes, and I found a shirt that I really liked but it was too big. My friend started crying and freaking out over how I said that it was too big and I just looked at her like she was crazy. I couldn’t figure it out until it hit me.

We were standing in the NORMAL clothes section, and I just said that something was TOO BIG!

TOO BIG! Yes. We squealed and laughed and cried, and my daughter heard us from across the store.

I have officially gone from a 24/26 pant since my highest ( 22 at surgery) to a 14/16 and a 3X shirt to a comfortable XL. 4 months after surgery.

Case and Point:

I had a huge moment last week when I realized just how far I have come. I stared at the below and couldn’t even reconsile myself to that person. I have heard of people doing this, but this picture was taken during a time when I was not weighing myself. I was also super unhappy and there were a lot of things going on in my life at the time, and I coped with it by literally eating my feelings. I am sure that I was over 300 at this point, but I don’t know for sure. My highest recorded weight was 289, but I had been working on working out a little, by that point.

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This is today.

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You have to put the work in. You have to know this is a huge change in how life is.

It is worth every ounce of pain, sweat and tears.

*raises glass of water* Cheers!

My Weighty Story: 3 Months and on my way to a healthier me

First, I apologize for not keeping this up as much as I would have liked. It’s been a mix of life and not really knowing what topics to cover.

I have my 3 month check up on Wednesday and I’m scared. I’m afraid they are going to tell me that I haven’t lost enough. Here is the thing though. I am happy with my progress, mostly. I haven’t been PERFECT. I know that, but I am human. I am using this tool to make my life better. I am using this tool to get myself into habits that I CAN handle for the rest of my life. I am using this tool to become a healthier me.

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My food and workouts haven’t been perfect. I give myself permission to not be. I try hard, and most of time, I’m good. I get my steps, protein, and water in. In fact there are a few staples in my life for food. Protein shakes ( usually the Premier Carmel), one egg and cheese omelet (if there is meat in the fridge, I’ll add that), string cheese, and lunch meat and cheese.

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That is more than enough for a full meal. I often don’t finish it, but it is often my lunch at work.

So even if I haven’t been perfect, here are a few things that I have done and things that have amazed me during this process.

A. I have broken the 200 lb mark and I haven’t been this weight since before my daughter was born. Last time I weighed (last Tuesday) was 198.4. I’m bouncing a little around that mark, but I will take it!

B. I bought clothes at Kohls.  Ya’ll. I bought clothes in a regular store. Then not only did I buy them in a regular store, but I didn’t buy them in the plus size department! NOT. IN. THE. PLUS. SIZE. DEPARTMENT. Yup. Size XL t-shirts and some jeans. They fit comfortably too!

C. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror a couple weeks ago. I walked by a mirror in the office, and didn’t realize that it was me reflected back. There have been pictures posted on my Facebook page and people have said they don’t recognize me, but this was shocking. I didn’t realize it was me. I can’t be that much thinner.

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D. I’m finally seeing the difference in my face. In fact when I smile, I see the loose skin in my cheeks, which bugs me a bit, but loose skin is loose skin. I don’t wanna talk about it.

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E. I did the Wharf to Wharf in Santa Cruz again. Which was amazing. I did it on basically a moments notice too. No training and I still finished in the same time I had when I had trained for months at my higher weight.

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F.  I’m seeing the loose skin. Yes, I know I said I don’t wanna talk about it. The fact is, it is a part of this process. No I won’t show you a picture of it, because well… EWWW. I had said that the skin wouldn’t bother me much, but it is bothering me more than I thought. My arms wave on a totally different level than they did before, and when I was in the pool this weekend, it just felt weird in the water. Oh and I’ve already told the husband unit that a boob job may be in my future. He just laughed.

G. The hair. Oh I didn’t have much to give at the start of this, but I’m losing so much of my hair. I’m still of the mindset that if I have to be bald for a couple years to get healthy, then I will gladly do it, but it is sad. It’s falling out so fast that I very well may be living those words.

H. I’m adding swimming to my work out routine. I’ve just been doing some light weights and such at home then doing some running and walking because I’m terrified of my back causing problems again. In fact, I’ve really cut down on the running because my back was causing me issues again. Walking it is.

I. I have so much more energy than I used to. I find myself doing more. I don’t shy away from physical activity anymore because its a physical activity. In fact, a friend just asked me to do a 5K with her and I signed up without hesitation. I’m actually looking forward to it!

So here is the bottom line. I’m losing the weight. May not be at lighting speeds, but it is so much faster than I was ever able to before. I’m not hungry all the time. ( DUH!) I’m finding myself being much happier overall, but have huge body dismorphia (I spelled that wrong). I can’t reconcile the me I am inside, to the physical me I now am. I’m not sure that will ever go away.

I love my new life.

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My Weighty Story: Week 8 and Habits

Food continues to be really hard. I’m struggling the last couple of weeks. I admit that.

Last week I went on a business trip, and because food is hard, I went by myself. I didn’t want the temptations of what other people were eating and traveling for work has historically been candy bars and fast food.

This time I packed all my own food, which made things easier, but it was still so hard not to run through the drive-thru of Carl’s Jr for a Western Bacon Cheeseburger, or get the chocolate cake at the Mobile Resturant, or drive through the Wendy’s for a frosty or any other fast food for a shake or ice cream because it was hot.

These are HABITS that hard to break. Weight loss surgery does a lot of things for us physically to help with the weight loss. One thing it doesn’t do is fix the food addiction or the habits that you have. The point is that over the next year (or two) you develop new habits for a healthier lifestyle. It’s a massive and strict tool, but if your new tummy doesn’t give you issues with what you eat, it’s so easy to still eat those bad things. The tool is great, and I would do this all over again, no questions asked, but the habits are oh so hard to break.

While on the road, I did had to “suffer” and go through Yosemite. I know rough right. I stopped at Tuolumne Meadows, which is one of my favorite places. There is just something super relaxing about the wide open area surrounded by mountains.

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This is only a quarter of the meadow, but man it’s beautiful. On this journey, I have a goal of hiking the loop around the meadow, which isn’t a small feat considering that you’re at 8,600 feet. I want to try and do it next summer, but we will see how travel goes.

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Yosemite is a beautiful place. I also stopped further up the road at the creek and sat by it for a few minutes reflecting on where I have been and how far I’ve come so far in this journey. I realize it’s only 8 weeks, but so much has changed. I’m trying to change my mindset and get used to working out on a more regular basis.

Habits and head hunger are hard though. When researching all of this, you hear a lot about head hunger. I define this as when you think you should be hungry, but when you listen to your stomach, you aren’t really. I think this ties in greatly with habits. For instance, just over the weekend I was sitting at the computer playing my computer game and I kept finding myself walking to the fridge because I thought I needed to be snacking on something while playing. I wasn’t hungry, I was just following YEARS of habits that say that because I’m sitting in front of the computer, or sitting watching TV, or in the car traveling, I should be eating, and not necessarily carrot sticks. Like I said, habits. They are hard to break.

I really think that sums up what a lot of this is. Breaking Old Habits. Not an easy thing when I’ve been doing it for 20 or 30 plus years. Many will tell you this is the easy way out. Honey, it is anything BUT. This is by far one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.

So now onto “Weighty Matters”.

When I was on my business trip, I walked by a mirror and went… okay. I see some of the physical changes. I’m happy about this …

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I can actually see it there, but it isn’t showing on the scale. It’s is broken. I’m convinced. It’s stuck. I’m still where I was two weeks ago. What the hell.

Not to mention that I’ve been running the last two weeks and was really excited because I really thought I’d be able to run for exercise. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that is going to be an option. My back decided to blow out on me on Tuesday. In a matter of SECONDS. I usually can feel it coming, and be able to do some things to stave it off. NOPE. Not this time. Within 30 seconds, it went from oh… to OH $#^@!

I’m exploring other fitness options and am going to see about swimming a couple days a week starting next week, but we will see. I’m really bummed out and I’m not in a good mental space because of it (there are other factors contributing to that negative space as well, but I digress).

I just have to keep pushing forward, but I am going to get back to the basics with food, and find a way to up some workouts. I mean, it isn’t like I can eat less.

So while this week was an exceptional downer, I am going to TRY to keep my head up. This is a new week, and I can do this. I just gotta figure out how to break the cycle.

My Weighty Story: Week 7 and Food is Hard

Just what the title says.

FOOD.      IS.      HARD.

Last week at my 6 week appointment I was released for full foods and exercise. Which of course followed my camping trip, unfortunately means between fighting food while camping and being released for full foods, something triggered in my brain this week and I ate .. well, HORRIBLY! I’m not even going to weigh myself this week for fear of crying. Just time to pick myself up by the bootstraps and move forward.

One positive thing I started doing is jogging. I have never been ABLE to jog before so being able to jog to stay warm while camping made me realize that I might be able to as a real form of exercise. So last week I did some light jogging just around my complex to see if this was going to be something I could legit work on right now. With a history of bad knees I don’t to injure myself and set me back. I’ve done all this to better myself. I did fairly well, so over the weekend I jogged during our dog walks, and Sunday I even went out without the dogs (who want to stop at each and every smell along the way) and did .66 miles!

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The only walking I did was to cross the street in a very steep section. All the rest I did! It’s not even flat area either. I go down hill then come back uphill. I may be slower than a turtle running through peanut butter, but I ran!  YAY ME!

So Week 8 Goals:

  1. Be on point with my food
  2. Continue to run each day before / after work. Oh I ain’t gonna lie and tell you my legs are hurting, because they are, but it’s that weird hurt that feels good because you know that you’ve done something new and productive.

I also did something drastic this weekend. When I took a shower on Saturday I pulled so much hair out that I just rage quit on it. I just screamed, “FINE IF YOU WANT TO FALL OUT! I’LL CHOP YOU ALL OFF!”  So that’s what I did.

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Hair Gone!  It’s a bit scary because I’ve never had my hair this short before. I’m not used to it, but my hair does look healthier and fuller. It’s so fine and thin that if I didn’t think my husband would divorce me, I may have seriously considered a pixie / super short cut with shaved sides. To be fair, I’m not sure I could pull it off if I did go that route. So this is as short as I go, and like I said it does look much healthier than it did before.

Last week some time I also set up some side by side comparisons. I don’t see a huge difference, but I’ve felt it in my clothes, how I feel, and others have said how much of a difference they see.

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The left are just after surgery and the right are last week. There are differences, so I will take it.

So there is my strange week 7. It is what it is. Not every week is going to be perfect.

Week 8 will be better!

 

My Weighty Story: Week 6 and More Changes

Week 6 was one where I noticed how much more I was able to do. See we went on our yearly camping trip and it was cold. Okay, so not winter, blizzards, -100 without the wind chill cold. Cold for us Central Coasters. Which means that it was consistently in the low to mid 50’s. The biggest problem wasn’t that it was in the 50’s it was that there was a ice cold wind that kept whipping through and just made staying warm, well not real easy.

My solution to staying warm? Walking, even jogging around the campsite. Yes, me! I was jogging! I haven’t jogged in decades. My husband kept looking at me and shaking his head. He couldn’t believe just how much more energy I had this trip overall.

Regardless of the weather, it was beautiful. It’s such a beautiful place and camping right on the Big Sur River is just something that I won’t pass up all too often.

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On top of finding out I can jog and not die a horrible death, look at what else I was able to do!

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I know right! When was the last time that you were able to cross your legs? I’m not sure when it was for me. Well at least comfortably, and not constantly readjust.

One thing that was difficult. Food. I had packed protein shakes, P3 protein packs, string cheese, apple sauce, lunch meats, cheese, all of which have been staples for me in this soft food stage. That being said, it was really hard not really having control over meals. When we cook at home, we use the low fat versions of things, or the lower calorie versions, but not everyone who was there was doing that so much of the food being served was full fat / calorie. Not to mention that I felt like I was being rude if I didn’t serve what was cooked (and yes, I had to do that a couple of times). My in laws had made french toast because they knew how much I like it, but they just didn’t know I can’t have it anymore. To make it worse, it smelled AMAZING, so I walked away with my protein drink and went for a walk to get away from the smell of it.

Snacks were difficult too. The more I’ve thought about it, it may have been because of camping habits. We would always buy an ice cream and sit with our feet in the river eating it, or eat chips with our sandwiches (both of which I can’t have yet).  That being said, bread doesn’t sound that good most of the time anymore, but it was really difficult when the donuts and the french toast sticks came out one morning with the coffee.

My will power got the biggest workout in a long time. I didn’t do perfect, and I failed at some points. I tried to walk off the cravings as much as possible over the weekend. Which between that and the “adventures” we went on brought me to some 12K steps a day days.

The other thing about week six… on the day we came back from camping I had my 6 week follow up with the surgeon. I met with the nutritionist first and she gave me some tips on how I can cut some of the fat from my diet. For the soft food stage cheese has been a bit of a staple. She said that if I cut back on the cheese that my daily fat should come down. If my protein is still a bit low at the end of the day, she suggested that I should have a protein shake. So I’ll be working on that.

I was pretty bummed out when it came to the scale though. When I weighed last week I was at 208.6, however when I weighed at the dr’s office I was back up to 214. So I’ve been a bit upset about that. Okay, I’m really upset about it.

I’m trying to keep the momentum of high step days, and getting my food on track. It’s hard though.

So very hard.

 

My Weighty Story: Week 5 and it was a doosy!

Week 5. OH week 5. Sigh.

Okay. So no more side pain, I’m able to exercise more and do more things. I don’t have to use my feet to get things off the floor anymore, I can help around the house again, and to my husband units delight, I can pick up the dog poop when we walk the dogs again.

Wednesday, I got on the scale to check to see if it lied to me on Tuesday, and as I mentioned in my last post, it does look like I’ve finally broken that stall.

It’s been a highly emotional week.

Friday the daughter unit graduated high school. I can’t believe it, but she fought and clawed her way through all the obstacles that life threw at her, and I can’t be more proud of the human being she has become. She is kind, compassionate, wants to help others, but all at the same time doesn’t let people walk all over her. She refuses to be a doormat. She is just a really good human being.

Then, if I wasn’t emotional enough because of that, the very next day, I turned 40 years old. I have not looked forward to it for a very long time. That being said, over the last two months it has not looked so ominous. Yes, I still didn’t want to talk about it, but I wasn’t having mild panic attacks over it anymore. Why? Because I’m on the upswing of my life. I’m taking strides to make my life better.

Now if all that wasn’t emotional enough for you I have a couple NSV’s (Non-Scale Victories) to share.

1. I have not been able to see my weight loss in the mirror at all really. I can see it a little bit in my hands, feet, and a little bit in my cheeks, but not otherwise. Now the girls at work have been great at telling me that they see it, and the husband unit is making a point at mentioning where he sees it coming off. I just haven’t been able to see it. Body Dismorphia at its best right? Well I did try to put jeans on, and only had one pair of long pants that might work for the next couple weeks. Donated all the rest there. Shorts, a little better situation as I’ve been hoarding the smaller sizes for years, but only had 1 pair that I could wear camping next weekend. When I started this process (through surgery) I wore a 22 /24 (or XXXL shirt). On Saturday (my birthday), I went and bought two new pairs of jeans and a few t-shirts. Here is the surprising thing. I bought one size 18 short and one size 16 short! The T-shirts? XL! They are a bit snug, but the XXL was just too big. I rather they be a little snug because they are going to only get looser over the next month.

I know right?! I was shocked too!

2. Sunday: We / I decided for my birthday outing I wanted to go to a movie. I ate lunch before I left, we got our tickets, husband unit and daughter unit went to the snack bar. They got popcorn, churro’s, an iccee, a soda, and what did I get? A water. I didn’t even have a second thought about the oh I want that. The churro sounded good in my head, but I didn’t feel the need to eat it, and then the smell of it actually entice me.

2. Part B: When we got into the theater, I sat down and realized I wasn’t squeezing my fat ass into the seat! There was even some room! I won’t lie, I cried.

Yea. So an emotional week, but all good things. So here is my take home statement. Believe others when they say there are changes, because it won’t be long before you will see it. Maybe not all in one week like I have, but it will start popping up.

So accountability time. Got on the scale this morning.

I couldn’t believe it! Almost to onederland!!! I got on the scale 4 times this morning to verify that weight. Was within a pound each time.

I’m hoping I’ll be 200 in the next two weeks!