Monday, June 30, 2008

How To Sabotage A Sleeve - A Cautionary Tale

Breakfast: Bacon & egg muffin
Snack: Mars Bar & Coke
Lunch: Nachos
Snack: Salt & Vinegar chips
Dinner: 4 slices of pizza and 2 pieces of garlic bread (spread out over an hour or so)
Snack: 2 pieces of cake

The above is not a typical day's eating for me, thank heaven, but it could be. These are all things I can eat comfortably (mostly) and eating them last week resulted in my gaining half a kilo. It serves me right ha ha! I know better than that, and although I have many excuses I know that I have to get back on track and start limiting myself again. The minute things get difficult or stressful for me I want to turn to food as a comfort, even in the small doses I can consume now that is a TERRIBLE idea. Not only will it stop or at least slow down my weight loss, it's nutritional suicide ha ha.

I'm sorry I have been out of the loop for a while. Not much has changed, I think I am starting to adjust to non-married life even though I sometimes feel like I have had a limb amputated. Ten years is a long time to have someone in your corner, I really miss it even though I know everything is happening as it should, for a reason, etc, etc.

I am discovering a transferred addiction - clothes shopping! Lately I've spent bucketloads on new clothes, jewellery, getting my hair done...which is out of character for the person I've been over the last ten years. I think being married I became complacent about those kinds of things, and also as I gained more weight I only survived by thinking of myself as invisible. I never really thought about my appearance, and pretended it was that I was happy with how I looked, when in fact it was the exact opposite. I think I considered myself as non-existent in a physical sense... because I was so out of touch with my body and my image. 50 kilos has made a big difference, even though I am still obese and have another 50kg or so to lose. Shopping for size 20-22 is a hell of a lot easier than trying to squeeze into a stretchy size 26. I actually have to put things back on the rack that are too big!!!!!!!!! Bizarre. But nice!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Tomorrow I turn 38. In some ways it's going to be the worst birthday I can remember, but in other ways (the ways I try to focus on) it is a huge improvement on previous birthdays. I am missing 75% of my stomach and a husband, and have some loose skin issues I'd prefer to do without, but there is a lot to be thankful for.
  1. I have a great relationship with my family and some kick arse friends
  2. My job is secure and enjoyable and pays pretty well - also is low stress
  3. My health is greatly improved, both mentally and physically ha ha!
  4. I am 45 kilos lighter than my 37th birthday
  5. I am learning stuff about myself and the world every day

Hopefully I will enjoy the day, even though this year I won't be going out for a huge meal (and laying on the couch afterwards like a beached whale) and I don't suppose I will get a present from the former Mr Lil ha! One of my best mates sent me flowers today, which was awesome, and I am taking a cake to work tomorrow to share with the guys there. I guess like every day, birthdays are what you make them, and even though it's going to be a completely different type of celebration, I am determined to celebrate just the same!!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Halfway Mark

Yesterday the scales showed my weight at 125 kg (275 pounds). I have officially lost 45 kilos (close on 100 pounds) since I started this journey back in September 2007, which is halfway to my personal goal of losing 90 kg (198) -- to bring my weight down to 80 kg (175), which for my height of 5 ft 10 is a little above "normal" but somewhere I'd be thrilled to be. My surgeon set the initial goal for me to weigh 100 kg by Christmas 2008, which seemed SO FAR AWAY last September. I never really believed the weight removal would happen so easily, even though statistics and anecdotal evidence (from other sleevers I met) suggested that I would reach my goals with no problems.

To say it's happened easily is to somewhat gloss over the puking and the emotional battles, but I guess it's kind of like childbirth ha ha!! My friends say that as soon as you have the baby in your arms you forget about the pain and trauma you went through to get that baby!!!! Most of the time I am psyched about the changes in my life, and positive about what's ahead of me, even when the road gets bumpy. It's all true and real -- which is something I avoided in my life for such a long time, and now I have the confidence and strength to take things in my stride and really go for it. I am doing a lot of emotional/psychological work at the moment (boring I know!!), trying to work out how and why I let myself get to this point in my life, and how I can avoid making the same or similar "detours" (I am trying not to think of them as "mistakes" ha ha!). The familiar "all or nothing" drive to be the absolute best or the absolute worst at everything is ever-present, but I am aiming for the middle ground. I know that I can enjoy living in a "normal" state of mind! My life has been a crazy rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows but now I'm growing up and I no longer need to be the extremes of perfect or pathetic, terrific or tragic...

I think my catch phrase or word of the week is BALANCE.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Thousand Thanks

Thank you everyone who has emailed, commented, etc about my breakup. You guys rock, and I have to comment that as much as you say I have encouraged and inspired you, the same goes back at ya! I think that one of the best things about deciding on weight loss surgery has been discovering the amazing people out there who are sharing the journey with me... it's a small but select group ha ha! I like knowing that even if I feel alone sometimes in the midst of my physical life, out in the wider world there are people who get where I am coming from.

There are no updates in the marriage dissolution stakes... I think it's called a "stalemate" (which is kind of a semi-accurate yet rather cutting word to describe a divorce now I come to think of it!). I have some appointments with lawyers, banks, etc over the coming weeks, but I am hoping the separation will be fairly amicable as we have neither property nor offpsring to fight over. I think one of the things I have noticed lately is the lack of arguing in my relationship, which I used to believe was a positive thing but now I wonder if it was a sign of general malaise and apathy. I know this guy at work, let's call him Lewis, who is one of the rare people in life who actually tell the truth, no sugar-coating or mollycoddling, and while this truth hurt me somewhat this week (when it was directed at me), in the long run I am a better person for it. Most of my life people have made allowances for me, and lied to me in the misguided notion that it would protect me -- but it doesn't! I ended up suffering from it, and I think my addiction to food was made worse by the people who supposedly loved me, ignoring it. My emotional immaturity was excused/encouraged, instead of challenged. My ex-partner, the American, was one of the truth-tellers, like Lewis, and I guess after him I chose my husband because he wasn't quite so determined to be 100% honest, 100% of the time. I think that I need people in my life who tell me to get a life when necessary rather than using "unconditional love" as a bandaid. What IS "unconditional love" anyway?? I don't believe any kind of love comes without it's expectations and conditions, and that's as it should be. "Love means never having to say you're sorry"?? What the heck does THAT mean?

I have been thinking a lot lately about choices, and how I told myself over the last ten years that I didn't have them to make. That my depression, weight, illness (lupus, fibromyalgia, etc) forced me to behave a certain way or live a limited life. What a crock of BS!!! I was simply too afraid to make changes. I ate junk and watched TV to dull any pain I felt, and used excuses to avoid any kind of difficult decisions. Living a fully realised life (jeez I sound like Dr Phil ha ha) is scaring the pants of me, but it's the first time in years that I've felt like a functioning human being.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Mad Ones

The only people for me are the mad ones. The ones who are mad to love, mad to talk, mad to be saved; the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars - Jack Kerouac

I read recently, and may have already mentioned it here, that one of the casualties of weight loss surgery can be your relationship. I hate to become a statistic (except for a positive one, eg: 100% of excess weight lost ha ha) but there you have it. I fear my marriage is over. As with all these things, there is more than one reason for it, and I won't go into detail. I know that my fellow weight loss surgery patients will be able to empathise with the extreme changes that come with the surgery, lifestyle makeover and new attitude. I have struggled with personal demons, for a long time, and now I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, I can see a life for myself where I am not consumed by, and always consuming, food. I need to be inspired, challenged and encouraged and I need people in my life who make me want more. Like the quote above, the "mad ones". I met someone recently who reminded me of what I am capable of feeling, and I can't go back to the half-life I've been living for the last ten years.

Don't get me wrong, my husband is the kindest, gentlest and most loving person I know, and we are best friends - I hope we can manage to stay friends through all this, even though I know it's a lot to ask. When I met him my heart was completely shattered from my previous relationship and I loved the fact that my husband was so different to my previous partner, he was secure and stable and safe, and he has been instrumental in putting the pieces of my life back together. How much do I that I am well and happy I decide to move on????

There are a lot of reasons why this is a great decision for my husband as well as for me. I truly believe we can achieve more from life at the moment if we go our separate ways, even if we end up reconciling. I have tried to be as honest with him as possible, which I guess is all I can do. I hate that he is suffering, but one of us needed to make this break otherwise I could see us miserable and hating each other in five years.

It was hard to admit all this, as I want to be a positive representation of the sleeve and of weight loss surgery! I hate the fact that I can't have it all, that I can't be perfect, but that is one of the main dragons I am trying to slay. Sometimes, even if we try our hardest, we can't fix things that are broken, and even if I wanted to have a great marriage the truth is, I haven't achieved that (YET!).

Any insights, advice, stories you have to share will be greatly appreciated. After being with B for ten years, I feel like a teenager again with all the associated angst and confusion ha ha!

In weight removal news, I weighed in this week at 125.9kg (600g less than last week I think). I have my six month review at Mercy Bariatrics on Tuesday and I can't wait for the official verdict. Hope all is well in your world my friends!