Sunday, June 22, 2014

4 Weddings, Shopping Off The Rack, and A BONUS RECIPE!

To The As many of you know Charlie and I traveled to Chicago this weekend to witness the wedding of our wonderful friend Teslen to her new husband Noah. There are 4 of us girls who met that first semester at NYU for graduate school. We became fast friends setting up a weekly dinner to talk, vent, gossip and continue to grow and evolve at women and educators. It was an amazing 2 years together full of laughter tears and cosmos. It was NYC after all. :-)

After graduation Tes returned to Chicago, Jill, Toni and I staying in NYC. The summer after our first year of teaching I was the first to get married. All my girls descended in Brooklyn for a whirlwind weekend of wedding wonder.  In the years that followed Jill got married, then Toni and finally, last but not least, the youngest of the NYU sisters married.

You may be thinking to yourself,  Meredith that is a nice story but this is a blog about your weight loss surgery journey.  I'm getting there. Weddings are about a lot of things. For the bride, so much is wrapped up in the dress. I ended up making my dress with help from the brilliant and extremely gifted costume designer who also happens to be a wonderful friend from high school. It had been so frustrating to find a dress that fit MY body. I was at about 295 after doing 9 months of Jenny Craig...losing about 50 lbs. I felt beautiful in that dress. I knew that custom made clothing always fits better than off the rack but this was a true object lesson. I was the actor in this show and the designer and it was my responsibility to make myself looks great. Which I did.

By the time Jill's wedding came my weight had climbed back guess about 325-330. It was a struggle to find something to wear to this wedding that I would not be embarrassed in.  I won't lie, for the most part I have maintained a pretty stylish plus size wardrobe.  I was always able to find flattering pieces.  Trouser jeans are your friend, not skinny jeans or jeggings.
At Jill's Wedding...
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Toni's Wedding
When Toni got married last year in the spring we all reunited one more time out on Long Island. Tes flew in again, and we rented a Zip car and Charlie, Tes, Jill and I made the trip out. I was fast approaching my highest weight. I found a great maxi dress at Torrid in a 4x that was not the most flattering but it would do.  We ate a ton, danced a ton,  and I didn't let my weight get in the way of celebrating. I hate the pictures and O know there are a lot of them. It is hard the biggest person at an event. You don't want to stand out but when one is at events where everyone looks fancy in new dresses and heels it always left me some way. Not beautiful and not as good as everyone else.

By the time Toni's wedding had come I was already entertaining the idea of WLS.  My weight climbed more yet and as many of you know I reached my highest weight that summer at 386.

When Tes asked me to read a beautiful passage from The Alchemist at the wedding, I was honored.  I knew I was going to get a new dress. I first ordered one.from Mod Cloth was poorly made and the torso was so small there was no way it was a 2x. I returned it and found a dress at Macy's. 

The girls have descended on Chicago...
Originally I had bought a 22 but when it.came in early May I was already swimming in it.  I returned for one size smaller, which was still a little big in spots.  I found black sandals on amazon but my size is also going down and a 10 is too big. I dug out the shoes I bought wedding and.didn't wear because my feet  swelled so much the day of our hot August wedding.  They are a little big but were perfect for the wedding this weekend.

I was on the hunt for something to wear with my dress...a shrug or something and I went I to Ann Taylor and found a beautiful little XL that I bought. No plus size. No worry that I would not fit into anything. I bought off the rack and it was a glorious moment.

I stood up at the wedding later that night not worried that I was being recorded.  I stood tall between Noah and Teslen and read the beautiful passage about finding love and knew some of my best friends in the world and my husband were there, loving me for me as they had at every wedding before. It was an amazing moment and I am glad I could share their day without any shame or embarrassment. I have worked hard these last 7 months. I earned that moment.

Over the last 8 years of our amazing friendship these three women have stood by me through ups and downs and their friendship never wavered.  They are my NYU sisters and I love them more than I could every say.  

Noah and Tes
With Jill

Poptail: Bourbon Butterscotch Latte (SF/FF)

Makes 6 popsicles.

Smucker's - Sugar Free Fat Free Caramel Sauce, 4 Tbsp18048001300Ico_delete
Bulleit - Bourbon, 4 oz29100000Ico_delete
Cream - Half and half, fat free, 4 fl oz7111231746Ico_delete
Starbucks - Coffee - Extra Bold, 16 oz500000Ico_delete

Per Serving:911001511

1. Add all ingredients into a blender and mix to combine. Pour mixture into popsicles mold.
2. Freeze for about 2 hours or until mixture starts to solidify enough to hold a popsicle stick upright. Insert popsicle sticks and finish freezing popsicles overnight. To release popsicles run hot water on the outside of popsicle molds for a 2-3 seconds.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sleeve Size Treats

Today my wonderful friend and colleague Gab (like Gabe) brought in these little bite-size treats.  I know some sleevers swear off treats/carbs/etc for numerous reasons (transfer addiction, sugar addiction, Doctors guidelines) but my goal throughout this process is to not be extreme with anything.  VSG is extreme in itself so it I can work to find balance with everything else, I am one step closer to healthy, for me.

124lbs down!  
Current weight: 262  Highest Weight: 386

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Thinking Like A FAT Person

It seems like one of the most difficult things for people who lose weight,  especially a lot of weight is that we often struggle to get past the mentality of "thinking like a fat person".  Now I know fat is subjective. There are big folks who embrace their size publicly. There is a model and advocate for size acceptance that I admire a great deal.  I don't know what her weight is but she is a badass curvy girl. Her confidence oozes from every pore. I NEVER felt that way. Even at 190 lbs, my lowest weight as an adult when I was 20-22, I never felt that same sense of self. 

I have a distinct memory of getting dressed for opening night of the first show I designed in college. I put on the dress I had got for my 21st birthday the previous summer.  I had many housemates at the time and one of them commented that I looked HOT. NO ONE had ever said anything like that to me. I had never felt or seen myself as attractive. This was a first, and now a memory that will be with me for a long time to come. I looked in the mirror at 21 and saw myself as the girl no one wanted, ever.  Fat, ugly, worthless. That night was a changing point that was fleeting and something I have been chasing since.

Fast forward 16 years later. There have been times when I have felt beautiful, my wedding day is the first one that comes to mind. Times when I felt confident and beautiful. I had been externally validated and that translated to my own thinking about myself. Good or bad, it is true. There were times when validation to the form of objectification and I was ok with that, in fact I reveled in it. It made me feel good, better about the body I felt like I had been saddled with...

This week I went for my first appointment with my new PCP. (YES,  I MADE THE MOVE.) It was a really positive first appointment.  My Dr. Was encouraging and supportive, thrilled with my blood work from my 6mo appointment and at no time were the following terms used : obese, overweight, fat, deficient, obstacles, challenged, re-gain. Nor did she prod and poke about my goal weight. I told her about my 190 weight but that in my head it's more like 175 ish but that I believe my body will tell me what the right weight for me is. Is its 190 then great. If it's less, great. She was in agreement. I will go back in 6 mos unless I need a medicine adjustment-I am still on 2 BP meds-my pressure was 117/80 Matthias appointment, something that I never had when I went to see my last PCP. Major white coat syndrome with him.

I don't expect all the head stuff to subside any time soon. I imagine part of me will always feel like  386 pounds and all the identity that goes with that.  I just hope I can find beauty in myself where ever my body decides to settle.