Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Everything but the kitchen sink

A lot has happened since I last posted on Sunday.  After leaving the message for my Optifast counselor on Sunday to talk about my decision to return to full food, I waited all day on Monday to hear back from him but he never did call back, which made me mad.  Part of that was because I had worked myself up to call and never to hear back from him made me feel as though I were unimportant and the other because it was a pretty big phone call (at least to me).  So I ended up going to my class and was thinking about what I would say.

I went straight to the medical office when I arrived.  That's where the physician's assistants are.  Two of them greeted me with a big smile and a "Here comes my favorite patient!"  I told them about the decision I had made to go back to full food and why.  Instead of receiving push back from them, they were super supportive.  Wow, not what I expected at all.  They then went to get my counselor so that he could be involved in this conversation.  He did receive my call, so we talked about where I go from here.  There was also no push back from him.  Double wow.  They said I would have to go into a maintenance class since I was no longer on product.  However, I wouldn't have to do that for a while.  I was concerned about the other people in the group because they are still on the fast and didn't want to make them uncomfortable.  [Look at me always worried about other people when I should be worried about myself.]  My counselor was really encouraging and told me that I have something very special to share with the group so he would like me to stay with them.  Of course that's what I want to do, too.  So I shared with the group what's going on and they were all very supportive about me continuing on with them.  Of course they were ... I honestly, down deep in my heart, didn't expect anything less.  I think it was just fear I was feeling about being off the shakes.

After everybody left when the class ended, my counselor sat with me and went over my new food plan.  I am now at 1200 calories a day and have certain servings per group, like so many proteins, veggies, grains, etc.  Even though 1200 calories may not seem like a lot of food to some people, I was having about 500 calories a day on the shakes since I was in ketosis, so it feels like a whole lot of food.  I mean, my servings of veggies are 7 in a day.  Who eats 7 servings of veggies in a day?  In fact, my first cup of salad is a "freebie" so that doesn't even count.  So anyway, I have a worksheet that I'll be filling out every day and I do list everything on My Fitness Pal because it counts all the calories, fat grams and whatever else for me.  For now, this is what I need to do.  There will be a time when I won't be counting any of these things because everything will be standard for me, but I'm relearning how to eat again, except in a healthy way this time.  I'm just as committed to this portion of the program as I was to taking the shakes.  My counselor said it would be best for me to plan my meals ahead of time.  Additionally, if I make a change and want to swap a food out, I have to write two paragraphs as to why before doing so.  That would make anyone not want to make a change!

The class itself was both horrible and wonderful at the same time.  My weigh-in was awful.  Remember that it's been two weeks since I weighed in. I gained 33 pounds.  That sent me into an emotional tailspin, let me tell you.  Not too long ago, I gained 30 pounds in two weeks.  Even if I was binging every day, I have never gained that much weight in my life in such a short period of time.  In that time frame, I had another medication change (actually four changes).  I also had severely increased my sodium intake because I was trying to get rid of the dizziness I have been having since February and I was also sick, both with a cold and tummy issues.  I was just so frustrated with the constant dizziness and feeling like I was going to pass out, so I decided to see if this would help.  It didn't and caused some major water retention.  In fact, there was swelling around my ankles as evidence and the ring on my finger was snug when before it had been practically falling off.  We even had a discussion in our group about stories of people retaining a ton of water, through no fault of their own.  In addition, there were a couple of times during those two weeks when I didn't make the best choices because I wasn't eating at all during the day due to my upset tummy sickness and would make up for it in the evening before going to bed.  Long story short, up 33 pounds. I can't express how difficult it is for me to even write that, let lone accept it.  Sometimes this whole venture has felt like one thing after another being thrown at me.  I'm trying hard to hold my head up high through all of it, though.  I'm not going to hide anything from myself, let alone you.  I already can tell the difference today with the medication change and reduction in sodium ... my ring is incredibly loose again.  I pray it's only down, down, down from here.  Oh, and the dizziness I have had all these months?  It's now gone since I'm back on full food again.  I'm telling you - I've been through the gamut in the last several months and I'm ready for things to no longer be crazy.

Now, on to the wonderful part of the group.  As I was sitting alone with the counselor and we finished going over my new food plan, we had a really good talk about my progress.  In fact, we talked for an hour.  He told me the reason that he calls on me during every class is because he feels I'm inspirational, insightful and have such a great story to tell.  The fact is, even with the weight gain, I have lost a crazy amount of weight.  I told him that I don't like being put on a pedestal though, which he definitely understood.  However, I also need to celebrate this huge success so far and now that I'm back on food again, I can continue walking towards my goal of continuing to be healthy, while losing weight at the same time.  He does feel that my goal weight is a bit too low for my height, but we can gauge it as we get closer.  He did express to me how grateful he is that I'm in his class and taking steps to have a healthy life.  It was a great talk and I was incredibly touched.

Earlier that day, I received a call from the worker's comp medical examiner's office and they want me to go for a MRI tomorrow.  If you have been reading other parts of my blog, you may recall a post I wrote about not fitting in the machine and having to reschedule my appointment so that I could go to an open MRI machine.  That was the same month I started the program, back in February.  By that point, I had already lost 26 pounds, so I weighed in at 391 pounds at the time.  So when the receptionist was getting info from me and she asked me how much I weighed yesterday, I wondered silently if I would fit in the machine this time.  Obviously things are different and I'm much smaller than I was at 391 pounds, but that's where my head went.  I didn't say anything, just booked the appointment.  She said someone would be calling me today to confirm the time, address, etc.

Fast forward to today.  I received a call confirming the MRI appointment.  She gave me directions on the phone and I thought to myself, I wonder if this is the same place I went to before.  The address seemed oddly familiar, but I didn't really pay any attention to that.  I hung up the phone and about five seconds later, I received this call:

MRI Office:  Hi Kathryn.  This is Cecilia again.  I just wanted to let you know that you have been here before.  This is the same office where we tried to do your cervical MRI but couldn't. 

Me:  Oh, okay.  Well, see you tomorrow.  Shit, it was the same place.

About ten seconds later comes another call from them.

MRI Office:  Hi Kathryn.  Sorry, but this is Cecilia again.  The technician wants to know if you are heavier than you were the last time you came in here in February.

Me:  Excuse me?  Did she just seriously ask me that when they already knew how much I weighed from the appointment setter yesterday?  And, really, did she just ask me that regardless?  I can't believe I'm having this conversation with them.

MRI Office:  Yes, the technician wants to know if you've gained more weight since last time because, if you have, we can't do it.

Me:  No, I have NOT gained any more weight.  In fact, I have lost a lot of weight.

MRI Office:  Okay, so you haven't gained any more weight?

Me:  No, I am not heavier than I was before.  Click. 

Are they freaking kidding me?  They can't possibly know how humiliating that first experience was to have some man who doesn't even know me size me up with one look and tell me I was too big only to have that exchange on the telephone today.  Part of me wants to tell them off for having such a callous conversation with me on the phone and the audacity to do so.  The other part of me wants to show up tomorrow and watch them as they react to my smaller body.  I left the office to head off to lunch with such a big lump in my throat.  I felt like a second-class citizen who needed the approval of some jerk sizing up my body.  I get that these machines are only so big, but then do your homework before you call me.  They already knew my size, so why have such a rude phone conversation with me?  I felt not good enough.  Tomorrow morning I get to find out if I fit in their precious machine.  This is the humiliation that comes with being a larger person in the world.  Talk about being judged for your outside cover.  Not only that, but it is readily accepted in society to discriminate against large people.  That is why my resolve is so strong to be successful now that I am back on the food one hundred percent.  I don't want to be the butt of any fat joke any longer.  It's just makes a person feel as though they just don't matter in this world. 


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