Tag Archives: “Sometime Food”

From Shame to Hope…

If I was on Sesame Street today’s letter would be “S.” I wish it stood for success, but it stands for shame. Let me say SHAME in all capital letters. I am full of shame, disappointment and frustration. No pretty words are coming out of my mouth.

I think this photo shows a happy person and that's what who I intend to be as my gastric sleeve journey continues....

I think this photo shows a happy person and that’s what who I intend to be as my gastric sleeve journey continues….

The reason for my shame is that I’m finally admitting I am struggling with just about everything in my life. I feel like a compass with broken needle. I can’t seem to find any sense of direction. I take that back, I am going in one direction: up, as in up the scale. I guess this is my rock bottom when it comes to my journey for 2015. I’ve been in worse places and I have definitely carried more weight on my body and soul, but now I am at the bottom of a very large hill.

What brought on this overwhelming sense of shame? It’s been building for a while. A pound here or there in the summer was easy to brush aside. It’s summer! Ice cream for everyone! “I’ll stop the treats when summer is over,” I promised. Nope, that didn’t happen. I switched from ice cream to baked goods. What’s a piece of banana nut bread now and then? Just one or two cookies won’t hurt I convinced myself. I broke my rule of keeping treats as treats and not making them an everyday food.

I gave myself all kinds of reasons why I was snacking more. Stress, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness keep popping up. Some issues are self-manufactured and some came from the usual day-to-day drama. My brain tells me that it’s my choice to let pain and disappointment rule my behavior, but my heart just wants me to have peace.

For all my life, food is the peacemaker. Food doesn’t judge. It gives comfort, but it doesn’t offer solutions. It causes more problems. Logically I know this, but for as practical of a person I am, I still battle “the food as comfort” solution to my problems.

So here I am at rock bottom with my bathroom scale. I have not recorded my weight since June 5, 2015. Oh, I knew my weight was increasing, but if you don’t write it down it doesn’t count right? Today I was up 8 ½ pounds since June. Yes, almost 10 pounds. I was too ashamed to even cry. And when I realized I’m 13 pounds above my comfortable weight window, I was too stunned to step off the scale. Then the anger set in. The berating began. “How did I do this to myself? All the work and money spent and this is what I’ve done? I am a disappointment to myself, my family and friends!”

No, this story doesn’t end on a negative note. Yes, I’ve screwed up. Can I fix it? Hell, yeah! If I lost 100 pounds and made myself into a healthier and happier person, I can do it again. Fortunately life is all about second chances. Well, in the case of my weight loss journey, it is full of infinite chances. The positive spin on all this is that I can take control of my health once again and it should be easier in some respects. I know how to eat healthy. I know to stop buying my trigger foods. I know to exercise for the benefit of my body and soul. I know all this. I just have to believe.

And so begins the climb out of my weight gain and general life funk. It’s never easy in the beginning. Today as I laid on my bed to zip up my very snug jeans, I thought to myself, “You can fix this!’. As I ate a granola bar mindlessly when I wasn’t hungry, I though to myself, “You can fix this!”.

Here are some ways I plan to fix it:

*Tracking my food. I’m back to using MyFitnessPal. I hate keeping a food journey, but it really does work. Seeing what I”m eating really makes me think.

*Exercising in different ways. Normally I run alone, but I recently started to run with friends. It’s challenging, but it pushes me to keep up my pace, learn to chat as we go and most importantly it proves a much-needed therapy sessions.

*Find other outlets for my stress. Exercise is a great way to relieve depression, but I need other activities. I’m reading more when is a great distraction. Oddly enough, decluttering my home is lessening my anxiety. Accomplishing any task just feels good to this goal-oriented woman.

I know that writing more will help lift me out of this well of weight gain despair, too. That’s why I finally decided to share my shame. I’d love to be the poster child for gastric sleeve surgery, but I’m not. I haven’t come close to the goal I set before I had surgery. I don’t need to be perfect when it comes to my journey. I just have to keep trying and stay healthy.

I will own my shame. Yes, today’s letter is “S”, but I have decided that tomorrow’s letter is “H” for hope. I have two choices: to continue down a self-destructive path or to make positive changes. I have persevered before and I can do it now. By admitting and sharing my current struggles, I know that I can let go of this shame. I will let hope fill its place in my head and more importantly, in my heart.

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Three Weeks Bites the Dust…

Happy three-week anniversary to me! I am surviving and more importantly thriving with my new stomach. I am 20 ½ lbs and 10 inches down! My body is repairing itself and I feel healthy and strong. At the end of the day, I am exhausted. I feel more energized every day so I know that will go away soon.

The hardest part of this three-week journey has been eating, naturally. The first two weeks of only liquids was bland, very bland. The protein shakes I loved, OK liked, before my surgery tasted horrible afterward. All the liquids protein drinks I bought were too sweet. I never thought this would be a problem since I have a sweet tooth. C is for cookie and cake and chocolate for me! I finally found a cookies and cream protein shake that I could tolerate and sugar-free lemon lime jello was tolerable.

I’m an equal opportunity eater so I like salty food as well. Have you ever had broth by itself? Even for this salt connoisseur, it was either too salty or too bland. Strained soups turned out to be a better choice since they had some flavor besides salt. Chicken noodle soup broth became my go-to dish. I actually wished for cheeseburger flavor Crystal light to add some variety and normally in my life!

Two weeks post surgery and pureed food is on the menu! Blended soups are decent, especially my friend’s homemade chicken noodle soup. Gumbo blends nicely and gives me that spicy flavor I crave. Won Ton soup, however, does not purée well at all. The white soapy remains of the soup was unbelievably off-putting. But pureed tuna with salsa is a winner. Yes, it looks like cat food, but I honestly don’t care now. Food with substance and flavor is high on my list.

Since my stomach is handling pureed and soft foods well, I’m on to flakey fish! Over the past few years I’ve come to enjoy mild, white fish. For a girl who went crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay, you would think I was a shellfish lover, but I’m not. Shellfish and any fish that is, well, too fishy, is not for me. My ever supportive and great chef of a husband, is baking Mahi Mahi for me. It is like heaven!

Here is a picture of last night’s dinner, Mahi Mahi with pureed roasted carrots. One and a half ounces of fish with two tablespoons of the carrots. And the next picture is the end of my meal. With my stomach only holding two ounces at a time, I can’t always finish my food.

fishcarrotsbeforeFishCarrotsAfter

It is a strange feeling for me, as a life long overeater. Before, even when I was full, I could still manage to eat another bite or two. And I always could manage to squeeze in dessert. Now having gastric sleeve surgery, I know when I’m full and there is no denying that feeling. I’ve come close to throwing up once or twice, but I realized it was gas and Gas-X saved the day. Fortunately I’ve managed to keep my food intake low and really work with my new stomach size. The sleeve is my first defense in managing my food intake and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it.

In another week I am back to regular food and I am excited, but nervous. It will truly be the start of my new life with food. I need to eat well to lose weight, but also to keep up my energy and be healthy. No going back to fried foods, mindless liquids and junk food. Well, not all the time. I plan on having wine again and a bite of a Reese’s peanut butter egg is in my future next Easter. The difference will be the amount and how often I indulge. As I’ve said before, the gastric sleeve is another tool in my arsenal to battle my weight and keep myself inline after I reach my goal. The war is on and I’m the general! Here’s to the next three weeks of battle at DowntheScale…

The Zombie Curse is Lifting….

As dramatic as that sounds, it is true. I feel human on day ten of my recovery from gastric sleeve surgery. Ten days can go by slowly, but I survived it and I’m on the path to my new normal.

Since coming home from the hospital, it has been emotional, exhausting and awkward. Thankfully, my family didn’t send me back to the hospital or a mental hospital, which might have been appropriate. Changing my body, which also changed my way of thinking, has been one of the hardest situations I have willingly put myself in.

Learning to live with my small stomach is more challenging than I realized. I did the Optifast diet (only liquids and the random protein bar) for six months so I assumed this would be just as simple. Wrong! With the Optifast diet I supplemented the meager liquid food with Diet Coke. Really, healthy I know. Since my new stomach only holds one to two ounces, I can’t fill up on other food or drink. Physically, I don’t need the food or drink, but for the first few days my head believed it did need it. If the food smelled too good while my family was eating, I hid in my bedroom and moped. But I did try to remind myself that this is the liquid stage and, then pureed food stage is only for a month. I’m not proud to say I let self-doubt creep into my brain and let myself whine that a month was too long.

Fortunately I came to my senses today. A month really isn’t that long. July 3rd is not that far away. I really am starting to believe these statements, but spending the day outside with my kids changed my attitude completely today.

The guilt of putting my kids through one month of their summer vacation with their whiney mother finally got to me. We have amazingly gorgeous weather now. When you live in San Francisco, you know to enjoy every sunny day in the summer. The cold and fog creep in before you realize it and that is your summer. The kids and I have been out a bit this week, but I decided Friday was the day to truly enjoy it.

The kids and I enjoying a beautiful day.  And I'm celebrating my 15 pound weight loss too!

The kids and I enjoying a beautiful day. And I’m celebrating my 15 pound weight loss too!

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