Wednesday, February 24, 2016

State of the FUPA: Volume 1

A lot has been happening the last few days. Mostly good, which is more than welcome by me at this point. 

I've remained in my funk from the end of last week through the weekend and the beginning of this week. Irritated, frustrated, demoralized and cranky. Not feeling like the scale was reflecting what I've been doing. Not feeling like the joints on the lower half of my body are cooperating with me - and allowing me to do what I'd like to be doing in a somewhat pain-free way. I've been a mess. 

I woke up Friday morning feeling like someone was taking a chisel to the inside of my left knee. Every step - every time I put weight on that leg - pain. Sharp pain. The kind that really gets old after 6 days straight of it. I took it easy that morning and later I met with a lady in the psychology division of the bariatric surgery department. The good news was that I was found sane enough for surgery, and given approval to proceed. Victory.

I received a call on Monday to finally get my appointment scheduled with the surgeon. This is just my pre-surgery consultation - but I should be getting my surgery date soon! On Wednesday March 2nd I'll be having an ultrasound done on my gall bladder, a meeting with a nurse and then meeting the surgeon! Hopefully they will decide a date for my surgery. Then I meet with the dietitian Friday, March 11th to get my pre and post surgery diet guidelines. We're making move, people!

As excited as I was to finally be moving forward, and in some fairly major ways, I was still just salty as hell when I went to my appointment with Scott this morning. That poor guy. I am certain he finds me to be one of the crankiest individuals on the planet, and I can't say what he's experienced has been anything but. Unfortunately for him, he ends up being my shrink as well. But that actually ended up being a good thing today. We spent my walk chatting, and I realized I hadn't explained my full situation to him very well. I think we've got things cleared up now - and he's working on a new plan for me to help get some of this weight off quicker, to hopefully help alleviate some joint pain - and ultimately get me closer to my surgery date. 

When I initially told him about my pre-surgery weight-loss goal, I'd unknowingly left some fairly pertinent information out. Yes - I'm certain part of the reason they want me to lose some weight prior to my surgery is to prove I'm capable of making good choices. (I am still fast food, soda and *mostly* sweet free since February 2nd. That includes NO Cheetos!!) But the major reason for my weight loss prior to surgery is for my safety. The more you weigh, the more dangerous surgery/being put under is. The sad thing is that even for a procedure designed for overweight people, I'm still on the very heavy end of the spectrum. The more weight I lose on my own means the less days I spend on the liquid diet. They want me to have lost about 70 pounds by the time I have my surgery. I'm currently at about 37. Good, but not great. 

Now that he is understanding the full picture, Scott is devising a plan. I'm going to be doing some sort of cleanse next week. High nutrients, lower calories. Yes - I want that to get me closer to my surgery goal weight, but I am the most hopeful that it will help with my damn knees! I'm so sick of being in pain all the time! I want to be able to push myself in my sessions with Scott. I want to make the most of my time prior to surgery to make some headway in getting myself stronger. But when every movement is painful, it just gets really demoralizing! My self-talks - basically just repeatedly telling myself to get the hell over it - aren't working. So hoping shedding some more weight will get me over the hump to where my body can cooperate with me a little bit. I suspect a pain-free body will result in a happier Natalie, which will make the life of all those forced to deal with me just a little bit easier. =)

Well - that is where I am at for now. I meet with Scott Friday to put together the plan for cleanse week next week. I'm honestly kind of excited. I could use some accelerated movement in the right direction. My emotional well-being needs it. My knees and hips need it. My disposition needs it. It's time to kick it up a notch. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Rate of Progress

One not-even-remotely shocking tidbit about me is that I am someone who enjoys immediate gratification. This need is likely what tended to fuel most of my food choices. Why wait to cook something at home when I can go get a ready-made meal in any drive thru? I want cheetoes, I will have cheetoes. Immediately. This is something I'm very aware will need to change - and I am working on it - but the change is slow.

Currently, the most glaring issue I'm having with my immediate gratification need is with my body. I expect that if I'm expending the smallest amount of energy to exercise, eat right, etc - my body should somehow miraculously just decide to drastically shrink, and be incredibly mobile. I ate a carrot stick instead of a cheeto yesterday - I should have lost 20 pounds! I walked for 45 seconds - - I should now be able to have full range of pain-free motion! Sadly - this is not how it works.

Enter, my current pity party. I woke up this morning to aching knees. Nothing new there, but it just triggered something in me. With little to no warning, I was on the verge of tears. I thought my emotions had leveled out after spending a couple of trying weeks on the cusp of what felt like a nervous breakdown - but alas they are not! 

It has been a little over 2 weeks since I've had fast food, soda or sweets. TWO WEEKS!! For me, that is an eternity. I've been working with Scott. I've been making an effort to do what he asks me to do. I've been eating more fruits and veggies, and making an effort to prepare my own food. I'm making sure I get in breakfast. I've been trying to change! Trying to start to mold the active, healthy life I'm so looking forward to having! But then I just feel like my body isn't cooperating. I still get winded easily. My hips and knees still ache/hurt more than I'd like. WAY more than I'd like. Diet Coke still calls to me. It's moments like this morning that I feel like I haven't made any progress at all!

But then I need to take a minute. I need to realize that I have made progress. I'm eating so much better - have you heard - I've gone 2 weeks without fast food, soda or sweets! As Scott tries to point out to me - I'm improving with my workouts. Yes - I still get winded doing very little - but now I'm DOING very little. I'm  not sitting on my couch. I'm walking and flipping tires and lifting weights. And considering where I started - I have definitely had progress. I may not be happy with the rate of the progress. It's not immediate. Not even close. It is slow and steady. But it is steady. And with each day, things will hurt less. The ache in my joints will become a thing of the past. I will be strong. I will be fit. Eventually....

So I will allow myself my momentary pity party. I am giving myself until 3pm today. At 3:30 I meet with the psychologist to hopefully get my last pending approval for surgery. Everything is moving forward. I'm moving forward. And I'm really excited for what's in front of me - I just need to try and enjoy the journey a little bit, and not be so concerned with how fast I'm getting there....because I'll never be here again...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"She's Fat"

"She fat!"

That's what I heard as I walked through the doors at the store today. The young girl with her mother in front of me apparently felt like my size was something that warranted a declaration. It isn't even remotely close to the first time this has happened, but will hopefully be close to the last.

I'm not so naive to believe that the world doesn't notice my size. I am nearly 100% of the time the largest person in the room. It isn't something I'm constantly aware of. It usually isn't even a consideration. If it was, I'd never leave the house. But then I'm walking along, minding my own business, and get slapped in the face with "she's fat".

Here is why I think this warrants mentioning - - it isn't middle school or high school "mean girls" that are saying it. It is young children. A 3 or 4 year old boy - as was the case last summer at the gas station. The maybe 8-10 year old girl with special needs from this morning who is shopping with her mother instead of at school. So here is my question - - where are they hearing it? How have children this young been exposed to the concept of a "fat" person to the extent they are commenting on it? I imagine they aren't reading the adult women's magazines that seem to focus on little else. So where are they picking it up? My guess - their parents.

I cannot imagine the struggles faced by parents trying to raise decent human beings in this day and age. It has to be a non-stop challenge. But I just want to mention this so that maybe the next time you are discussing a person battling their weight, you'll think again. Or at a minimum choose a different term. Or better yet - have the conversation with your kids that just because someone is different - appearance, skin color, hair color, size - doesn't warrant a comment. Remind them of the old rule - if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Be kind.

Raise your children to be healthy and active, but don't threaten them with getting "fat". Because I'd hate for you to be the next parent I have to look in the eye when their kid calls me fat in public, and have to watch the embarrassment flood over you. 

I don't say a thing. I don't feel I need to lash out - I'm a 40 year old woman who has developed fairly thick skin, but it is still absolutely awful. Consider for a moment what it would be like for you if the one thing that you've struggled the most with in your life, and repeatedly failed at controlling, was commented on by random passers by. Loudly, I might add.

For every kid out there that struggles with their weight - help your kid not be the one that makes them not want to go to school,or worse. Trust me - shaming people for their size does little to help. Don't teach your kid to be a dick.