Tuesday, May 27, 2014

By The Numbers

The measurements don't lie.  Neither do your pants.  There is no better indicator of loss than how my clothing is fitting.  I finally took a moment to take measurements again and no surprise here...

July '13
Neck (inches): 19
Waist (Inches) : 57.5
Hip (inches): 66.5
1/26/14 (2 mos. post op)
Neck: 17 (Down 2 Inches)
Waist: 48 (Down 9.5 inches)
Hip: 60 (Down 6.5 inches)  

5/26/14 (6 mos. post op)

Neck: 15.5 (Down 1.5, total 3.5)

Waist: 42 (Down 6, total 15.5)

Hip: 52 ( Down 8, total 14.5)
Total Inches Lost: 33.5
Total Pounds Lost: 118

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

When to break up with your Doctor


One week after surgery....

Last week....

It is still a little shocking to catch my face in the mirror.  How the shape of my face has changed so much.

On Monday I wore the dress I wore at the rehearsal dinner for our wedding.  I remember feeling so beautiful in the sweet sundress.  It is too big for me now however I wore it any way, thank you 85 degrees on Monday and felt good.  One of my very sweet co workers, Andrew, greeted me that morning with, " You look amazing.  Really amazing."  A good way to start a Monday.

On the flip side, I had a really frustrating appointment with me Primary MD yesterday.  All he is really doing right now is managing my blood pressure medication.  He has never has a patient who has the sleeve before but he speaks of two different men who both had gastric bypass-middle age men who had GBP 10 years ago.  I get irritated when he compares me to them because we could not be more different.  I try to cut him slack because they are his reference points but as of late it just leaves me feeling undermined and unsupported.  He always asks me the same three questions: 1. What is your goal weight? 2. How much have you lost? and 3. How are you going to keep the weight off?

Sheesh dude, 1. I am not even to my goal yet (Right now by ballpark is between 180-190 lbs). 2.  Look at the chart, you weight me every time so you can bill for the visit even if you don't do any but check my BP. 3. I don't know yet what maintenance is going to look like because I am not there.  I don't know how long it will take ME to get there.  My blood pressure always shoots up when I go to his office because it is stressful.  I take my BP at home and it is low, very low.  109/70, for example.

I had a good talk with my mom who reminded me that my Doctor works for me and not the other way around.  If it is not working, I can find a new PCP.  It is ok.  So I am on the hunt for a new Dr.  One who will support me rather than condem me to repeating the mistakes of past patients.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Subway Stories

Some of you may already know this story...

Last fall, pre WLS, I was on my way home from work on the subway. When you are carrying around so much extra weight your body gets tired, fast and standing for long periods of time can be difficult. The only person. I ever complained to about standing on the train to was Charlie.  He hates the subway and avoids it at all cost ( a byproduct of living in NYC most of your life, IMHO). I got on the train at Union Square and was standing. It was fine. Usually seats open up once we get in Brooklyn. However, today a seat opened up at the next stop and I gladly took it.  The seats on most of the new trains fit 3/section. I always did my best to squeeze into the smallest amount of space possible as to not force my body on anyone else (don't even ask about flying!). There was another person sitting in my section if three and there WAS enough space for another person to sit down. At Canal a family got on the train...a mother, grandparents and a little girl maybe 8 or so. The Grandmother and the little girl say across from me, the mother in another seat, and the Grandfather went to sit inbetween me and the other rider. There was enough space. He determined there was not and choose to stand.

Now the story should end here but it does not.

When the man went to stand by his wife after he was deterred, the Grandmother began to talk about me.... And point (it was in another language however the pointing gave it away).  She was laughing at me and laughing with her family... snickering. It took everything I had not to cry. Once safely home, the years flowed. Embarrassed and ashamed.

Plus size people deal with things like this every day. It is hard and painful. I'm sure you have judged quietly or not so quietly at one point or another. I know I have.

As of today I am down just shy of 113 lbs. I am still a plus size woman, despite being at my lowest weight in the last 9 years. Today I got on the train and had a moment of panic when all the seats filed up quickly even tough I got on at the second stop on the train. I moved through the car and found a seat between a gentleman and another woman. I set my bag down, smoothed down the back of my dress and took my seat. I fit, something that always surprises me now.  There was no uncomfortable subway dance of sitting bodies trying to move just a little further away from eachother in order to prevent touching. I slid right in. The spot was mine. No shame. No snickering by other passengers at my audacity to think I would fit. I fit.

In my mind, I suspect part of me will always feel like the me of the Fall, and the last few years. Depression was a major factor in my weight gain as well as food addiction and compulsive binge disorder. It is hard sometimes to see his I DO fit into my world.

Note: The man sitting next to me as I wait for my stop offered me the seat first. Something that never happens to fat people.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's Not P.M.S.!

One of the byproducts of losing weight and especially losing a great deal of weight quickly is the hormonal influx that accompanies the loss. What I understand is that estrogen is stored in fat. As the fat dissipates the only place the estrogen as to go is back into the body.  Great, right?  The result is that some days I am a hot mess.  What might look like P.M.S. is not at all. It's the WLS CRAZY!

Needless to say I am having a rough morning today. 

First, it's raining and gray out. In the spring this is the last thing a teacher needs on a Thursday morning.  It makes it difficult to get out of bed. I wanted to just stay and snuggle with the puppy and Charlie, my husband.

Second, even though I have lost 111 lbs., amazing in itself, I still carry the majority of my excess weight around my tummy and it's not my best attribute right now. Clothing that clings makes me really uncomfortable. I am sure it looks just fine for the most part but going back to those pesky hormones, it feels like I have a spare tire to end all spare tires.  (Remember, irrational.)  We got these great Team AFSE shirts yesterday for teacher appreciation week and they have.their names on the back, very cool.  Mine fits just fine but this morning it was NOT happening. After  the typesetting on my list happened I went back into the bedroom and changed my clothes 4 times.  It would not have mattered what I chose to wear, nothing felt good this morning and brought me to frustrated tears. I have to wear a belt so all my pants stay up and because of this it make the spare tire a bit more pronounced. Suck!

Third, I love make up. I do it for me becuase I love it, not because I think I need it to conform or make myself feel better about myself. There is nothing better than a great tube of mascara (thanks to lessons from +Alicia Thompson and Katie Herrick over the years). This morning nothing was working and I had to take off clown makeup that had ensued and start over. TWICE.  Hot mess,  that's me.

Fourth, I am now running late. I hate running late but thankfully I don't teach first period.
I know this is all not real. It is chemical in my body and I just have to ride it out. I struggle with having days that I feel amazing right next to days that feel like, well, this. I wore my AFSE shirt yesterday when we all went bowling. I didn't care about the body spare, only the bowling one. :-) Today is a different story and there is nothing I could do to help myself feel good in my new top.
I'm sorry that Charlie has to deal with this part of things. It sucks and makes me feel worse. Weight loss surgery is not an easy fix and all the things that go with it that I never could have anticipated or thought to ask about have surfaced over time. It's hard. I'm thankful through it all but it's still hard. 


When I arrived at my school this morning, the school safety agent who was the first woman I met when I reported last summer for PD, commented on how good I am looking.  Today was the first day that I chose to go through the turnstile in the front of our school and not circumvent it because I was afraid I would not fit.  I fit.  Anyway, she went on to tell me, "not to be racist but, you white people are so hung up on weight and being thin".  I don't disagree with her.  I have written about how the feelings and ideas about body image are do different in Seattle (an incredibly white city) and NYC.  When I moved here I felt a new sense of belonging and acceptance that I have never felt before.  The Safety Agent went on to ask me what my goal was and hoped that I not lose too much weight.  It's all about perspective.