Mother Knows Best – 30 Days of Thanks, Day 3

When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality.  It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no.  You’re going to get it anyway. – Erma Bombeck

Today, my husband posted a picture of me on Facebook that I hate.  It was taken last Christmas, up 40 pounds from my lowest post gastric bypass weight.  I wore all black, as you do when you’re trying to conceal rolls of flab, and when the pictures came back from the photographer, I realized I discovered what Jabba the Hutt would look like had they bothered to clothe him.

My husband looked for people to tell him how awesome the photo was.  He loves the picture.  But my husband, who spends 23.7 hours of his day thinking of ways to “get lucky”, isn’t the most impartial judge of how good I look.  He’s quite certain – as am I – that telling me I look like a clothed Jabba the Hutt would mean that 23.7 hours of that particular day would have been a complete waste.  But he got several people to say that yes, I did indeed look good in that picture.

Then he asked my mom.  I believe this is her exact quote, “No, it’s not a good picture!  It shows how fat she is again!  I don’t know why you would spend all that money to have surgery only to get fat.  Is it time for birthday cake?”

I kid you not.

So as we enter the 3rd day of thanksgiving, I am thankful for my mom.  What? you ask.  Someone says something like that and you are thankful?  Yeah.  I am.  Because it’s always my mom who will be honest with me.  If I ask her opinion or her advice, I’m going to get it, followed by, “But you’re going to do what you want to do anyway.”  But she is honest, and even if the words sting, they are the words I need to hear.

My mother is also an awesome grandmother.  She is so generous with my kids, she treats them all the same (although I suspect she may have a favorite), and even at their worst, she loves them as if they are at their best.

My mom has bounced back from some awful stuff.  She’s suffered tragic losses and battled life threatening illness.  But she pulls no punches, loves us with everything she is, and honestly, she’s just bad ass.

I am thankful today for my mom.  We were very lucky to get the mom we did.

Gastric Bypass Surgery – What Happens When You’re Gastrically Altered?

Yep, that’s me.  It’s July 2006, just one week before my  Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery.  Yeah, I tipped the scales at over 300 pounds.  I was a big fat ass.  Can you believe I thought I looked good in this photo?  Can you imagine what photos of me that I didn’t like looked like?

But making the decision to alter your body so drastically is only the beginning of the decisions you’re going to have to make.  Let’s hope you’ve done your research, you’ve checked out the doctor and the hospital you are going to work with, and you feel confident – if a little nervous – about your decision to have your surgery.  But what comes next?

I’ll be posting a series of blogs to help you get through some of the post op stuff – the stuff you may not have had a chance to talk about with your surgeon.  We’ll talk protein (blech!), we’ll talk losing your drawers when you sneeze because they’re too big, we’ll talk about adding exercise and how important it is, and we’ll talk about plastic surgery – because, honestly, it’s where a lot of us end up.

So stay tuned.  Once a week, we’ll tour that unknown world of what to do once you’re gastrically altered!

 

To My New Good Friend and Gentle Reader, Carrie!

My new friend Carrie took the time to post a comment on one of my Blog Posts (find the original post https://www.beautygirlsmom.com/2010/06/14/i-took-the-easy-way-out-gastric-bypass-surgery-bitching/ ).  I’m taking the time to answer her!

Dear Carrie:

Unless you’ve had the opportunity to know me and my reasons for having Gastric Bypass Surgery, I wish to politely invite you to shut the hell up (whew, I avoided the “f” word this time – quite a feat considering I have absolutely NO self control, as evidenced by my need for gastric bypass surgery).  I don’t believe I was bitching about my surgery at all – I was bitching about the ignorant woman at the airport who sat in a seat eating doughnuts and drinking soda, all the while talking about her phenomenal weight loss through diet and exercise.  Because I recognize that gastric bypass surgery was my choice, I don’t bitch about the procedure.  I may have complained now and again about the things I experience as a result of this choice, but I never bitch about the choice itself.

And Dear Carrie, if you bothered to get to know me, you’ll know that I have had gym memberships.  I’ve been at least partially responsible for our local gym owner having the ability to send his daughter to private preparatory schools.  While that may make me a martyr of some kind, I don’t proclaim to be a martyr, neither for being such a generous contributor to a child’s education, nor for my gastric bypass surgery.

I’ve had the common sense to put my fork down; and I’ve had the common sense not to put my fork through ignorant people who think that we all have the ability to make a few lifestyle changes and be on the road to skinny.  Jaysus, I’m showing an awful lot of self control for someone who couldn’t stop eating!

You suggest a lifestyle change for people who have weight loss difficulty.  I made one.  It certainly wasn’t a lazy route.  Jenny and I are on a first name basis.  The Fresh Diet failed me until I was fresh out of money to pay for the pricey service.  Weight Watchers watched my ass get bigger every time I went to the meetings, after a week of eating their recommended amount of food.  So you see, Dear Carrie, I’ve exhausted every carefully constructed weight loss method before making the lifestyle change that led to my surgery.  Please note the use of the word “exhausted” – because that’s not something lazy people get very often.

We don’t all have the ability to follow the food pyramid, the USDA recommended dietary intake, and expect to be average sized people.  If you had bothered to get to know me before accusing me of being lazy, you’d know that I suffer from PCOS, a disorder of the endocrine system, making it difficult for me to lose weight.  Not that I’m using that as a crutch to stuff my face full of Twinkies, but it is a fact of my biology that weight loss is not as easy as giving up cookies and cake.  And I would guess that there are other people out there who have turned to Gastric Bypass Surgery who have similar metabolic disorders or thyroid conditions that make losing weight The Dear Carrie Way less than ideal.

And let’s give credit where credit is due.  Lots of us got fat because we ate too damn much.  But whether it’s stress; depression; a coping mechanism – for some of us, food means comfort.  It’s an addiction, like alcohol, tobacco, cocaine.  There is a euphoric high after you eat a slice of cheesecake, and a terrible guilt as a fat person when you do.  To regain the feeling, you eat another; and another; and another, until, ultimately, you’ve eaten the whole damn cake, you feel badly about yourself, and you fear judgement from people like Dear Carrie.  That sets up the whole cycle all over again – you eat to feel good, you feel badly when you do, so you eat more to feel good.

So tell me, Dear Carrie, if my therapist and yours went head to head in a psychological Top Chef of sorts, which one of us ends up with the more normal patient?  Mine at least knows my issues.  Does yours know how angry you are at fat people?  You might want to bring it up at your next session.

End of Week One In The Land of the Losing!

Yeah, I did it.  I survived the week on a diet.  No husbands were maimed, no children were injured, no small animals were harmed.

And I lost five pounds.

I know – that sounds like I should be jumping up and down, praising the diet divas (Richard Simmons and Susan Powter); bowing down to the gut busting gurus (the trainers on the Biggest Loser – and Harvey from Celebrity Fit Club); lavishing love on the lard losing dieters who have gone before me, blazing the trail with fad diets and starvation plans.

But I can’t.

If I get excited that I’ve lost five pounds, I might start looking to reward myself.

And you know how fat chicks reward themselves?  It’s how we got fat in the first place.  Food.

This is one of the hurdles in the diet challenge for me – learning to be proud of my weight loss and reward myself without using food.

In the past, if I lost five pounds in one week, I’d start thinking “Hmmmm, if I ate X number of calories this week and lost five pound, then next week, I can eat 200 calories more each day and STILL lose weight!”  It’s a vicious cycle for me; another way I sabotage myself.

The good thing this time around is I am recognizing the things I’ve glazed over in the past (oooh – she said “glaze” – how far is the Krispy Kreme from here?).  I don’t have to be three quarters of the way through a Quarter Pounder before I realize I could have just patted myself on the back, given myself an extra hour of “me” time, and skipped the fat laden calorie consumption.

I’m down five pounds.  My goal is 30 pounds.  With less than 17% of my goal reached, now is not the time to rest on my pleasantly plump laurels.

24 Hours of Dieting, and I Survived Dunkin’ Donuts

Okay – so I don’t dare tell you how much I weigh – until I don’t weigh that much anymore.  Then I’ll be all like, “Oh, did I tell you I lost 12 pounds?”  That’s how I roll.

So, I found an iPhone application that helps me keep track of my calories.  It’s kind of a neat app, in that it lets me put in my starting weight, how much I want to lose, and at what pace I want to lose the weight.  After I programmed everything in, the thing called me a big fat ass, and then told me to lay off the Girl Scout cookies.  I kid…

Unless I actually do something with the gym clothes I bought besides pairing them with the right eye shadow and the perfect shoes, I am limited to just under 1400 calories per day if I want to reach my goal in time.  Of course, seeing a number that small, I instantly thought there must be a zero missing somewhere – or they were giving my calories in metric or something (yeah, I know).

I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the day yesterday when I had only gone over by 17 calories – and that was because I stopped for a second latte.  I can’t be blamed for that one – my crazy husband tossed and turned all night long the night before in his sleep, and as I dragged my butt on the ground, I knew I needed caffeine or a contract hit man to deal with the rest of the day.

But today, gentle readers and dear friends, I faced the ultimate challenge.  We were running late, and I had to stop to grab breakfast for the girls.  It was also the opening performance of Eilis’ play at school.  Being the fat mom that I am, I thought I’d reward them with a treat – Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast.

I could have stopped and gotten them fruit and yogurt; or even an egg McMuffin, which would have been healthier and eliminated my temptation.  I didn’t.

And I ate a doughnut.

And I’ve stayed in my calorie range (well, 12 calories over for today – blame that second latte again).

The thing I’m most proud of is that I didn’t go back for a second doughnut – as I have been known to do.  Or come home and decide that I needed a doughnut for lunch, if for no other reason than to get them out of my house as quickly as I could – to save the rest of my family from the burden of obesity.  Because I’m kind like that.  And glaze is my favorite food group.

So as I stand here in the confessional, I hope that my prayer for absolution – my Act of Doughnut Contrition – includes at least an “Amen” for avoiding temptation for the rest of the day.