Saturday, January 5, 2013

Back to normal

Hi everyone.  I've been offline for a few days.  My dad was visiting from out of town so I wanted to spend the time with him since I don't get to see him very often.  It was a great visit.  I hardly get time alone with just him ... there's always a ton of family around so this was nice.  I had been sending him and my stepmom pictures of my weight loss progress along the way since they live in another state, but that's not the same as what you can see in person.  He was just absolutely floored at the difference in me.  In fact, as much as he appreciated all of my hard work to get to this spot, I felt like I needed to see things through his eyes even more.  My dad has always been a straight shooter.  He never minces words and tells you what he thinks.  When he gives a compliment or says a kind word, it's not because he thinks it's the polite or nice thing to do; he does it because it's what is truly in his heart.  So when he saw me, he said, "You look terrific, kiddo."  I even heard him talking to my stepmom on the phone when I was putting something away in the kitchen, telling her I look like the same Kathy, just much smaller. 

Lately, my head is telling me that I'm as big as ever and nothing was convincing me otherwise.  We are always our own worse critics, that's for sure.  My dad brought me back to reality with a metaphorical kick in the pants ... and I needed it.  Weight loss is more than just about the weight we have lost.  It is an incredibly, incredibly emotional journey.  If it was just about calories in/calories out, we'd all have this made in the shade.  But oh my gosh, it's light years more than just that.  For me, it touches on every dynamic of my life in some way.  The weight has been in control of how I feel about myself, the people around me, my place in this world and just so much more.  Here's a good example:  whenever I would go out to restaurants, I'd avoid going to the booth since I either had to squeeze my body into the seat, cutting off my circulation, or I wouldn't fit at all.  Let me tell you, that moment when you realize you don't fit in front of other patrons who are just staring at you is beyond humiliating.  While my dad was here, we went out to eat several times and I found myself asking him each and every time if he wanted to sit at a table when, in actuality, I was the one that wanted the comfort of the table.  When we'd end up sitting in a booth, I'd hold my breath while sitting down, absolutely sure I wouldn't fit.  Of course I fit just fine, with an incredible amount of room to spare.  There is just so much fear in me at times, perhaps scared that all the weight I've lost is just a figment of my imagination or that any weight gain means I've gained all the weight back.  I can be really silly at times, living in a black and white world.  It was an eye-opening experience watching my dad because I definitely am my father's daughter and he is the mirror image of what I was like back at 417 pounds.  Yet, I could see how much I have changed just being with him.  Things I was unwilling to do before are easily a part of my life now.  I'm willing to try/eat foods I never would have before because they were fat-free, I regularly incorporate exercise in my day and I'm just more open-minded than I used to be.  There's just got to be a middle ground where the two parts of my brain meet.

In terms of my extremely low blood sugar readings, things have improved greatly on that front.  I have been monitoring my numbers religiously and adjusting the types of food that I am eating at my meals as a result.  I mostly have had to increase the amount of carbs I have, which is a hard thing for me to do because I seem to want to fight that.  My brain says I should be eating less carbs, but when I do, I suffer as a result.  My sleep pattern hasn't gotten better, but I feel like if I continue staying the course and follow my doctor's advice when I see her in a week, things will continue to improve. I am not taking the diabetes medication that the clinic gave me until I speak with my doctor.  In fact, I'm no longer following the food plan they gave me once I went back on full-food.  It's just not a good plan for someone who suffers from low blood sugar.  For right now, I'm planning on continuing the weekly sessions at the clinic and going into maintenance when the time comes.  However, I don't know if it's something I'll be doing in the future.  It's still $50 a week to go and part of me wonders if I shouldn't spend the time and money going to see a therapist to help with all the weight issues.  This is not to say my experience with Optifast wasn't wonderful, because it was, but I'm in the second phase of my journey - off the fast, eating real food, getting in real exercise and dealing with the difficulties of keeping the weight off while continuing to lose more.  Trust me when I tell you it is so much easier to be on the fast then off of it.  If you're on it right now and you're anxious to get back to the real world, I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is not easier.  It's different, but definitely not easier.  The continuing support I receive from others walking the same path as I am walking, as well as the love of friends and family, is my rock as I go through all of this.  This blog has also become vitally important to me.  Most of you don't know me personally and will likely never meet me in person - I'm just some person who has written everything down as I walk through life to get to a healthier place - but I can just let my thoughts out here.  Maybe someone reading it understands what I'm going through, but I know that just the act of doing so helps me tremendously.  So, thank you for taking the time to read and commenting when you can.  It means a lot to me and so do all of you.  I mean that sincerely.


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