Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Trying again tonight

I did not walk during lunch today at work because I had some things going on and I have to admit that I missed it.  While I may have been sweaty doing it yesterday, there were great benefits that I felt from doing it.  Tomorrow I'm planning on giving it another go.  It feels so good to take good care of my body, even on days when it hurts.  The same thinking revolves around my 100-day water challenge.  In fact, I posted on my Facebook page tonight and asked if anyone wanted to join.  There's about eight of us doing it at work and I find it so much easier to have the encouragement of co-workers, even if they roll their eyes at me as they walk to the bathroom.  Ha ha, I love it!  A few more people got on board, so we'll all be running to the bathroom together.  I do find it is so much easier to be healthy around other people when they are practicing healthy behaviors, too.  I'm trying to incorporate as many good habits now so that there isn't such a major adjustment when it comes time for the gastric bypass.

I did not use my CPAP machine last night.  I decided to give myself a break from it because I absolutely struggle to sleep with it on my face.  There is something preventing me from sleeping.  So I decided to go online to see if I could find any CPAP sleeping tips.  The common thread I saw was to actually not take a break from it and use it consistently every night, even if I struggle to fall asleep.  My biggest problem is either that I just can't go from being awake to actually falling asleep and then, when I do, the air obstruction wakes me up when I sleep on my back or side.  The advice was to get up and get away from the bed if I've been struggling to fall asleep after 30 minutes, go do something for a bit and then go back to bed when I'm ready to sleep.  But no matter what I do, I should not give up on it because anytime I take the nasal pillow off, the apnea returns.  Man, I don't like this at all!  I'm going to keep trying though and I'm sure it's gotta stick sooner or later.  I just pray it's sooner.

Water Challenge Day 16:  Drank 147 of 186 ounces

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Amazing news!

My day went pretty well, although I got reminded of that I am a larger person.  Of course I know I am, but there are moments when I'm going merrily along in my life that I just forget.  I feel almost normal in those moments, as if I'm not the biggest one in the room or no one is focused on my weight.  I had two such reminders to sort of punch me in the gut.

The first was when I had to crawl under my desk at work for a duck and cover drill we had at our high school.  Living in California, we do have earthquakes quite a bit along fault lines to varying degrees of intensity so we have to prepare for worst case scenarios as much as possible.  The drill required us to hold in position under the desk for about a minute. A minute is not very long for most things, but when you're trying to get your body in a contorted position and have to hold it when it hurts to be sitting in a normal upright position most of the time, let me just say it was beyond uncomfortable.  It hurt in ways and in places it shouldn't hurt.  When there is a large amount of excess weight, things hurt indescribably.  I'm sure I don't have to explain this to most people.

Then, after student lunch, my friend and I went for a walk to get some exercise in during our lunch hour.  It was even my idea!  I thought it would be great to do because we haven't really been walking since I was sick this month. Since it was about 75 degrees out and so I thought it would be good for me.  We have several places we can walk in the neighborhood surrounding the high school.  We took a course that we normally walk.  It takes about 40 minutes and we usually do about 2 miles.  I'm still having respiratory issues, so I knew I would need to walk not as fast, so I slowed my friend down during the times when she was walking a bit too quickly for me.  I hate to admit this, but I was miserable during the walk.  I really enjoyed being outdoors getting fresh air and spending the time chatting with my friend, but I sweated a lot.  That's what happens when you're bigger.  When I was on Optifast, I went through being too cold all the time because I had lost a ton of weight.  Now I'm too hot.  By the time we got back to the office, I had sweat dripping off my neck, some around my boobs making my bra damp and I was breathing heavy.  I was starting to feel sorry for myself, comparing my 371-pound body against her 120-pound body.  If I would have admitted that to her, she would have scolded me for even thinking that way and she would have been absolutely right.  However, I did catch myself after a few minutes, just remembering that I don't have the right to do that to myself.  I'm a work in progress and I have to keep reminding myself of that.  When I forget, the lovely people in my life do a great job of doing it for me.

My little pity party didn't last long because just an hour or two after that happened, I got some really fantastic news ... I got into grad school!!!  Yahooooo ;-) I was so excited, more than I could express.  I have worked very hard to get to a place where I could even apply to grad school, let alone be accepted. That was the most amazing news and I've had so many people just as happy for me today.  When I was growing up, I felt pretty stupid.  I was given this message when I was younger when I was told that I was worthless and should just get a job when I was done with high school.  Even during my high school years, I ended up finishing at a continuation high school.  Not because I couldn't do the work, but because of a traumatic event that made me decide skipping school for six weeks was a pretty good thing to do (it wasn't).  Instead of choosing to come back as a fifth-year senior, which you could do at the time, I elected to finish high school elsewhere.  So to go from that to going to graduate school is beyond description for me.  The take away from this is that no matter what your circumstances, if you want something and work hard for it, anything is within the realm of possibility.  Hmm Kathy, that probably applies to losing weight, too!

Water Challenge Day 15:  Drank 186 of 186 ounces

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pre-op class #2 and weekly weigh-in

Week two of the pre-op classes is done!  This session was pretty fantastic.  The topic was about establishing a new relationship with food.  One of the things I love about these classes is that we're not just focusing on the logistics of the surgery.  That is great information to have, but I think focusing on the reasons why we eat to excess and the emotional component is just as important.  It is highly possible for people to have the gastric bypass surgery, lose weight and then put it back on.  If the problems are not addressed, there will not be a long-term solution.  I don't want to go through the experience of having the surgery and all the holes I've had to jump through to get there only to gain the weight back again.

One of the things I shared with the group was the fact that I was struggling with feeling extreme hunger this week.  I was told originally to follow a 1200 calorie plan for weight loss.  Suggestions were given in terms of what sorts of foods to eat with the ultimate goal of losing the recommended ten percent prior to the surgery.  I kept thinking to myself, "1200 calories doesn't seem like a lot."  In fact, I started worrying about it.  If you give a blanket calorie amount to everyone in the room, not accounting for their height or activity level, is that really going to be successful for everyone?  My food is great at breakfast and lunch but I am absolutely ravenous by the time I'm ready to head home from work each day.  I'm talking I felt so hungry you would probably be able to hear my tummy grumble from across the room.  As we working on an activity in the class, I had a pretty significant aha moment.

We were asked to write down what times we eat at each meal:
Breakfast:  6:00 a.m.
Lunch:  12:30 p.m.
Dinner:  6:00 p.m.
Morning snack:  Hmm ... 
Afternoon snack:  Hmm again ...

Then I realized, what I minute, I'm going way too long between meals.  From breakfast to lunch it's six and a half hours, lunch to dinner is five and a half hours.  That's assuming I'm eating on time.  I will bring snacks but get so busy at work that I forget about them and don't eat them that often.  Add to that the fact that I am diabetic and, well, it's just a hot mess.  Well, duh Kathy, this is why you're so flippin' hungry at the end of the day.  The leader of our group suggested that I have a protein shake when I'm leaving work.  I can even use my old Optifast packets that are collecting dust in my pantry.  Geez, why didn't I think of that?  I know it sounds simple, but I just never realized how long I was waiting to eat.  The other thing that struck me between the eyes is that, on one of our handouts, it says that 1200 calories is recommended for women.  It didn't say, "Hey Kathy, you suck if you go over 1200 calories."  This is another example of the perfectionist thinking that goes on in my head.  If you need more than 1200 calories to the point that you feel weak, your blood sugar has dropped and you have pounding headaches, for the love of everything that is holy, GO EAT!!

The rest of chapter for this week went over some suggestions on how to moderate eating now to be as healthy as possible and help us transition to the time when we will be having surgery.  Some of them included:
  • Good nutrition is a critically important step toward my overall health.  I can start with a personal commitment to myself.
  • The goal of good nutrition is to maximize my potential for good health every day.  I cannot achieve and maintain good health by occasionally eating well and eating poorly the rest of the time.
  • Remove toxin-laden foods from my environment and stop buying those foods.
  • Keep a food journal and honestly document my food consumption and use the journal to determine if any foods cause allergic symptoms.
Obviously many of these are common sense things hopefully every healthy adult would incorporate into their lives.  However, if you're like me and have had problems with compulsively overeating, bingeing or have had some sort of addiction to food, you know that common sense can often times be thrown out the window.  In many ways, I'm like a child that has to learn how to walk again.  Sometimes that means baby steps and sometimes that means running.  

As far as my weigh-in, I did lose a pound this week.  I was going to write that I "just" lost a pound, as if I need to apologize for not doing as well as I think I should have.  The truth is, though, that I need to not be so self-critical and that includes putting some expectation on myself that I think I have to live up to.  I lost a pound and that's great.  If I lose more next week, that's great, but I can be supremely grateful that I'm taking action toward getting healthier.  That's what matters the most to me right now.

I'm going to try to go to bed earlier tonight and give my CPAP machine another go, so my water consumption is going to be lower.  I don't care because I realized today, while talking to a friend at work who has adopted the water challenge for herself, that I drink about a gallon and a half each day.  I'm sorry, but that's pretty dang awesome!!  Yay me ;-)  Seriously, that is a crazy amount of fluids, especially for someone who had a tough time getting in more than 1-2 bottles a day.  Rockin' this!

Water Challenge Day 14:  Drank 104 of 186 ounces

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Not giving up

I had a pretty good day.  I went for my first major walk since being sick with Sara this morning at Discovery Lake.  Her son was with us in his stroller, so we only walked two miles but that was okay with me.  To round out the walk, I had a nice little coughing fit at the end.  Yeah, okay, it wasn't nice but it was a fit.  I was planning on walking more after we were done visiting while her son was playing at the park, but then I realized that perhaps it was okay to settle for what I did.  After being sick for four weeks, I need to transition back in.  That's progress for this black and white thinker.  I don't need to push myself, only to make things worse.

Later in the day, I decided to take a nap and thought it was good to try my new CPAP machine.  I got it right before I got sick but I couldn't use it while I was sick.  I have the nasal pillow, so it's got these two little parts that you have to stick in your nostrils for the air to come through.  Can you imagine what that would have been like when I was still stuffed up?  Eww.  I'm a tummy sleeper because when I lay on my back or my side, I wake up when I start to fall asleep.  Actually, what really is happening is that I stop breathing and my brain wakes me up.  It has been explained to me that the reason for that is because I have an air obstruction.  The CPAP is designed to help with that, so I should be able to sleep on my back and side.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.  I couldn't fall asleep, no matter how hard I tried.  I think I gave it two hours.  When I would start to nod off, the same thing would happen with waking up because I couldn't breathe.  My dad, who also has the same type of CPAP, told me it took him months to get used to the machine.  I finally pulled it off and tried to sleep without it.  I had tossed and turned so much by that time that it was a lost cause.  I'm not going to try it again tonight just because I want to get some sleep.  I will do it again tomorrow, though.  I have to keep trying.  A big factor for getting on the CPAP, aside from the heart benefits, is that I need to be able to sleep on my back after the gastric bypass surgery.  I really doubt I'll be allowed to sleep on my tummy given that they will be doing the operation there and I will need to recover.  It does worry me a little but I have months to work on this.  I do have an appointment with a doctor from the sleep clinic to evaluate how I'm doing in a few weeks, so I'll definitely talk to him about what's going on.  He will be able to read the data from the machine.  They may even have me do an overnight study at the sleep clinic if necessary.  The thought of someone watching me sleep makes me not want to sleep, but I'll do whatever I need to do to get over this hurdle.  I'm committed to that.

I've been doing really good on my water challenge.  I posted about doing it on Facebook and I had three friends tell me that they are going to do it now, too.  I feel like I'm always in the bathroom, but that's the whole point.  When I compared the difference of how I was doing with drinking water before versus now, it's night and day for sure.  These changes are little baby steps, but I definitely see progress.

Water Challenge Day 13:  Drank 186 of 186 ounces

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Feeling antsy

I'm feeling a little on edge right now because I'm impatiently waiting to hear back from Azusa Pacific to let me know if they've accepted me for graduate school.  I'm confident I'll get in for the most part.  There's just this tiny little voice saying, "But what if they don't accept you?"  I'm sure it's that part of me that goes back to the days of being last to be picked for a team or not acknowledged for busting my butt on something.  Every time I check the mail and I get something from them, it makes me feel so anxious.  They've sent two letters already - one that they've received my application and are processing it and the second one saying that admissions is done processing it and now it's gone on to the department for the ultimate decision.  It hasn't been that long at all since I sent in my application, so I shouldn't be this anxious ... but I am.

It is having me reflect on my issues around perfection and accepting the gray in life.  I have had many experiences that told me that if I couldn't do something perfectly, then it all just goes out the window.  I was the perfect child with the perfect pleasant disposition.  When I got promotions at work and I was younger than everyone else (not at my current position, but former positions), I always felt like I had to be perfect to prove I was worthy of the job.  I know there are deep reasons around why things have to be perfect.  They have to do with being worthy enough just as I am and really not believing that to be so.

Being abused for a good part of my childhood has left a deep scar that I still battle to heal.  I know the past is in the past, but it takes absolute work and effort to leave it there and not bring it into the present.  For me, it manifests in my weight.  When I was on Optifast, I did it absolutely perfectly.  I think most people who have been reading my posts since then could clearly see that.  I didn't deviate and "cheat" on anything while I was on the products.  I even asked permission to take communion once a month!  All of that fed into my perfectionist self.  I followed everything to the letter.  Then, when I didn't have the safety and security of those shakes and soups in the packets, everything went to hell very quickly.  Granted, I got sick along the way, but I still had the "I have failed" mentality because I didn't do post-Optifast life perfectly.

As I travel on this journey towards the gastric bypass, I really need to embrace the lessons of perfectionism I find myself learning along the way.  There are going to be days that I'm not going to be absolutely perfect on my food.  I'm a human being and we make mistakes from time to time.  However, that doesn't mean one mistake equates to blowing the whole thing.  It just means I get up again and try again.  I never did like doing that when I was a kid.  What if I got up and skinned my knee as I fell again?  Well, silly girl, then you treated that skinned knee but you keep getting up.

I think these are things that I missed given what I was dealing with as I got older, the normal parts of growing up.  I am working at trying to embrace imperfection and being okay with it.  That means my desk can be messy at work without me internally cringing when someone makes a comment.  That means my house does not have to be perfect just in case someone pops by.  By letting go of the need to be perfect, I can also let go of the weight in the same process.  For some reason, it has been my iron wall protecting me from getting a skinned knee.

Water Challenge Day 12: Drank 150 of 186 ounces (perfectly imperfect!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Listening to my body

It's amazing how much our bodies speak to us, if we just listen.  Of course I don't mean literally - that would be weird.  I mean in the sense that there are definite ways we know we need to drink more water, eat more protein or less carbs.  As a diabetic, I can say with absolute certainty that my body tells me if I have to much sugar in my system or not enough.  Today my body was telling me so strongly that I just wasn't eating enough food.

Right now I'm shooting for 1,200-1,500 calories a day, depending on my activity level.  One of my friends asked me to describe what I think I have the biggest problem with in terms of food.  I thought about it and noted that I seem to do really well until the late afternoon.  Then, when I get home, I start grazing.  When I start doing that, the perfectionist part of me says, "Well, you already messed up so you might as well finish the carton."  My tendency is to go for sweets - ice cream, pie, cake - and starchy foods.  Today I had some oatmeal for breakfast, thanks to another friend who saved my butt by giving me a packet from her desk because I forgot my food at home.  It definitely wasn't enough to eat, but at least it was something.  Then for lunch I had one of those microwave steamer meals and an apple.  As I was heating it up, I thought to myself that I could add more veggies to volumize what I was eating because it really wasn't much.  A few hours later I had a couple of celery sticks with Laughing Cow spreadable cheese and another apple for a snack.  

By the time I got home, no surprise here, I was ravenous.  My tummy was grumbling and a had a throbbing headache.  The first thing I wanted to do was eat.  I ended up having some skinless chicken that I had baked earlier in the week.  I just couldn't stand to wait to prepare anything for dinner.  On top of all this, I was exhausted.  I decided to crawl into bed for a little nap and woke up four hours later.  When I woke up, I was hungry.  I looked at the food I had logged in for the day and saw that I had only eaten 800 calories. Um, hellooo Kathy! The goal here is not starvation and my body was definitely telling me that.  I did have some soup that had nice big chunks of chicken breast, carrots and pasta.  So I need to look at what I can do differently for tomorrow.  If I continue eating like I did today, every day is going to feel like true torture and I really want to be in the healthiest place I can be in.  

Earlier tonight I was watching the latest episode of My 600-lb Life on TLC.  For those who are unfamiliar with the show, it follows the stories of bariatric patients who are around 600 pounds over the course of a year.  Tonight's show was really heartbreaking because the woman in it was bedridden, got the surgery and ended up virtually in the same place she started.  I just watched her denial of her condition, not being honest with what she was doing to manipulate the situation and blaming other things for her surgery not being successful.  It really affected me because I wondered to myself if I have been that blatantly dishonest with myself during the many times I have tried to lose weight.  Sure, I've been successful in terms of letting go of the weight in different ways, but then it would pile back on.  That is hardest part of the weight loss process for me.  These are things I need to see, though, and these are questions I need to ask myself.  I am so determined to be successful with the surgery and I want to do everything in my power to do my part.  Without a doubt, I know the surgery is just a tool.  It will not magically "fix" anything.  I have work to do, but I am committed to doing that work and being honest during the process.  

So, for tomorrow, I will make sure to eat my breakfast at home, bring more to eat for lunch and make sure that I'm getting enough in at dinner time as well.  I'll bring healthy snacks with me and make sure I get all of my water in.  I think I'll go take a walk at work before eating my lunch so that I can get some exercise in.  Moving on!

Water Challenge Day 9:  Drank 140 of 186 ounces

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pre-Op Class #1 and weekly weigh-in

The first class is done!  There's a total of 14 of us.  Everybody seems very friendly, as does our leader.  Of course I did the thing we do with each other ... compared my body against hers and hers.  Some were smaller than me, some bigger but we definitely have a unique situation in going through something so incredible together.  I hope to get to know everyone well over our time together.

We have a 24-session curriculum to go through.  I'm glad to see it was not just about logistics of the surgery but more about the emotional reasons we eat and how to be successful in the long term.  That's something I'm most definitely interested in.  Losing weight is much easier than the maintenance part, not that losing weight is easy at all.  In comparison, though, it's like night and day.  Some of the program goals presented to us are things I want to try to incorporate routinely now.  They include:
  • Having a sustainable eating plan for weight loss that is well balanced, healthy and calorie-controlled
  • 30 minutes of aerobic activity (walking, swimming, biking, etc.) daily
  • Two or three 30-minute sessions of weekly resistance training
  • Stretching daily
I like to have my parameters set before me, especially when discussing something like surgery.  If someone tells me I need to get in at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day, my mind starts to go to the place of being lectured by parents, doctors and others.  "Do this because it's good for you."  Of course it is, but I don't want to be judged or shamed in the way I have been with that voice that has said, "Geez, it's only 30 minutes a day ... what's your problem?"  But when I'm told that it will prepare me well for surgery and make me successful after surgery for reasons A, B and C, then I get it.  I have six months to gradually make these things habitual so that when it comes time for the surgery, I'll feel more prepared.  Speaking of the surgery, it looks like most people have it no sooner than a month and a half after the classes have ended.  Sometimes it can be longer, but I'm glad I have a better idea.  Our last class will be on July 7th, so that will put me at surgery no earlier than the end of August. 

In terms of my weigh-in, I'm at 372.2 today, just a few ounces up from my original starting weight when I was approved for the program.  They want me to strive to lose 37 pounds during these six months.  If I don't lose the weight, it's not a deal breaker.  However, the lower my weight is at the time of surgery, the less risk I have for potential complications.  That's a great incentive to do the best I can during this time to really focus on treating my body well by taking good care of it.  My personal goal is to have adopted a healthier every day lifestyle so that, by the time I have the surgery, I won't have to start a totally new way of thinking and being ... I can just continue.  

Now what I need to do during the week is to make sure I log all of my food and any physical activity I do.  I will be required to either turn something on on paper or show a log of anything I've put int MyFitnessPal.  I've been kinda lax on logging everything in, so this will keep me accountable.

Water Challenge Day 8:  Drank 140 of 186 ounces

Sunday, January 19, 2014

400 posts later

Two years ago, almost to the day, I started this blog.  I had made the decision to pursue weight loss through Optifast.  It's such a roller coaster of emotions to go through my older posts, remembering what I as going through at the time and how I feel about things today.  I wouldn't erase my journey with Optifast (or Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig) since that time because, truthfully, those things brought me to where I am today and my decision to have gastric bypass surgery.  I have tried so many things to lose weight during my entire life and it's really those things that made me hit my knees and ask God to guide me on this.  I wonder if I am courageous enough to continue on this journey.  I also wonder if I will fail.  The best thing I can do for now is just be honest about how I'm feeling, trust in God to lead me and pray for bravery.  This is my 401st post (can you believe it??) and I've had more than 66,000 hits to my blog.  Obviously I'm not alone in this journey and I'm so grateful for that and for all of you wonderful readers.

Tomorrow I begin my pre-op classes for the surgery at Kaiser.  To say I am ready is seriously the understatement of my life.  I have really come so far in the emotional part of this process already.  When I first even made the decision that I was indeed going to pursue surgery, I felt incredibly scared.  Now that I've done more research, talked to more people who have had it, shared my decision with an incredible support system and have a center for excellence that will be doing it, I find myself more excited than a child on Christmas morning.  Now that's excited!  Of course I will continue sharing my journey here.  I need to post more than ever before as I go through such an incredible journey.  I'll bring back pictures of my progress here once I start accumulating some.  I still have them from my Optifast weight loss, but I don't want to compare myself today to the self that I was while doing Optifast.  This will be a different experience, one that I feel in my heart I will be able to do.  Let's face it - if I was able to survive on nothing but liquids for something like 8-10 months, I know I can do this too.

Water Challenge Day 7:  Drank 190 of 186 ounces

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mothers and daughters

What is it with relationships that drive you absolutely batty sometimes?  I don't care what type of relationship it is - husband/wife, siblings, parent/child - you love the other person but also could slap them.  It doesn't mean you do, but you want to.  I was absolutely spitting mad with my mother today to the point that it boiled over and I just spewed.  I'm going to vent here ... I must.

Last May, my mom borrowed a large sum of money from me to fix her car.  I gave her that car several years ago when I bought mine and I know it's the only form of transportation she has so I knew I would help her.  Besides, she's my mom ... it's the right thing to do for a parent.  Then, over the last year, she borrowed some more money from me when we were in Las Vegas and I paid her cell phone bill a couple of times.  She's really lagged at paying back, even though she has paid some.  We made arrangements for her to come to my house yesterday to pay some of it off.  I didn't ask her how much, but she still owes me over $600.  So she said she was getting a tune-up and then would be over to my house first thing before she "got into trouble".  That's code for "going to a casino".  I know my mom well.

When it became 1:00 and 2:00 in the afternoon, I started wondering where she was.  I was hanging around my house waiting for her.  I figured, oh well, she just got to the mechanic late.  At about 5:00, my phone rang.  She was at the casino with her friend and they were having dinner from the buffet.  She said they would just finish eating and then she'd be right over.  I was mad because I was waiting around for her and she didn't have the decency to at least call me.  Yet, I didn't say anything on the phone.  I figured we would talk when she got to my house.  At 10 p.m., she still wasn't at my house so I called her cell phone and left a message for her.

By the time I woke up this morning, she still wasn't here.  She has a key to my house so I checked the spare bedroom to see if she was there.  Nope, just my two kitties sleeping on that bed.  Now, I was pissed off.  What's worse, mad or pissed off?  Hmm, I'm not sure about the various levels but you get my point ... unhappy Kathy.  Really unhappy Kathy.  My phone then rang, but it was her friend calling to tell me that she would be dropping off money to me this afternoon.  She said that she owes my mother $200 so she would be bringing that money to me.

Okay.  That told me that my mother had blown her whole paycheck because her friend had to give me money.  That also told me that my mother was avoiding me.  Then, she called.  I was so upset with her that I just let it go to voicemail.  Then she called about 10 minutes later.  I still didn't pick it up.  At about the same time, I heard my front door being unlocked.  It was her, using the spare key.  She hadn't slept all night and couldn't even look me in the eye.  I gave her a few minutes to relax before I spoke.  I was so upset that it just all came out.  I told her how disrespectful it was not to even call me to say she was going to the casino first, about how she continuously chooses to gamble instead of pay me back and especially on how I waited around for her.  At first she was trying to joke it away and I said to her, "Why do you think this is funny Mom?  Does it look like I'm laughing?  You keep claiming that you don't have money, yet you are always at the casino and not paying me back.  That makes me think the casino is more important than me.  Do you understand?"  I then told her I'm really worried about her, that I think she has a real gambling problem.  What is going to happen to her when she retires?  I don't have the flexible income to take on a dependent.

She understood where I was coming from and apologized sincerely.  Then she spent time falling asleep on my couch.  I have a spare bedroom and I asked her to go there, but she didn't.  Then her friend eventually came over to bring the money and they proceeded to talk about gambling at the casino for two hours.  Two hours!  I can't even describe how absolutely bored I was with the conversation.  I may like to play games on Facebook, but nothing is less interesting to me than talking about spending hours in front of a slot machine.  Yawn.  After her friend left, my mom fell asleep on the couch again.  That was six hours on my couch.  Because I was trying not to disturb her, I wasn't doing a lot around her.  Finally, after feeling frustrated and wanting my house back and, frankly, these two days of being in her gambling world, I just wanted to be alone or leave.  I started  unloading the dishwasher in the kitchen and wiping down the counters.  I admit, part of that was to make enough noise to wake her up.  Yes, I know, even as I type this I realize that was just evil.  Passive aggressive and a bit childish, completely.  I own that.  It did wake her up and she decided to go home.  I love my mom, but it was time.

So, why am I talking about all of this here?  Well, for one, this is the place where I do my journaling to get out my feelings.  More importantly, though, I don't want this to be a reason that I overeat.  My food has been really clean and healthy the last several days since I've been doing my water challenge.  I just don't want to go to the food to deal with emotions, no matter what they may be.  I'm glad I said something to my mom and that we had the opportunity to clear the air.  She admitted that she knew I was going to be mad.  Argh, family!  I'm letting it go now.

Water Challenge Day 6: Drank 140 of 186 ounces

Friday, January 17, 2014

Join me for my challenge

Okay, yes, I've been incommunicado for a week.  For me, that's a long time not to post at least a little something.  For the most part, my flu is gone.  I still have a nagging cough that sometimes is really bad, but I'm back to normal in other regards.  I still can't exercise a lot because of the respiratory infection, but I know I'll get back there again soon.  I did get some really great health news though ... my endometrial biopsy came back benign.  Hooray!  I will be seeing the gynecologist at the end of the month and I think I'm going to talk to her more about how things went down with the Physician's Assistant.  The more I reflect on it, it's one thing to blame me and the weight on the condition, but it's another thing to mention that it causes cancer in the same breath.  I went in there to see why I was having too many cycles.  For her to then mention cancer without even knowing what I had was insensitive and totally inappropriate.  I mean, I'm a person who is in remission from cancer so you can't just throw that shit around like that.

I finished the application for graduate school and submitted it.  I did make a mistake on my application when I reported my college units.  That sent me into a little of a panic because I wondered if that tiny mistake would keep me from being accepted.  However, I did contact the graduate counselor so all is well.  From what they said, I should know something next week.  That's intense!  I know there's nothing more I can do except to wait to hear from them.  I am looking forward to getting back to school though.  I feel like if I'm out of college for too long, I won't want to go back when it's time.  At Azusa Pacific, it looks like my classes will be on a quarter schedule but I'll only be taking two at a time.  So, God willing, that'll start next month for me.

Okay, enough for updates!  On to my challenge.  A few days ago on Facebook, I got involved in a "Drink Your Water" challenge.  It's a group of people who committed to drinking half their body weight in ounces of water or similar non-caffeinated beverages.  Our task was to drink like this for five days as a group to help us make sure we're getting in our water for all the fabulous benefits.  There's 151 one of us and w check in each day to see how we were all doing and to encourage each other.  For me, that has meant drinking 187.5 ounces of water a day.  I have not made quite that number every day, but I have done it most days or gotten really close.  Participating in this challenge has really helped me increase my fluid intake and my skin is looking really great.  Right now there is a 100-day challenge going on online and in social media groups.  People pick various things to do, whether it is working out, eating whole foods or whatever for 100 days straight.  They then do videos of how they have been doing or document it in some way.  So I thought it would be great for me to continue drinking half my body weight in ounces for 100 days.  It could only benefit me in positive ways.  I even have an awesome app on my phone to help me keep track (in the app store, search "Waterlogged").  I'm all about the fantastic benefits that all this drinking can do for me:  help in losing weight, good skin, less headaches, better digestion and so much more.  So join me ... if I can do it, so can you!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Time to vent

Geez, I'm still sick.  I'm hoping that if I stay home and talk to no one, it will save my voice because I've pretty much got laryngitis from all the coughing I've been doing.  I still have a lot of bad coughing and congestion.  I know it will get better, and it has, but I'm impatient.  Shocker, right?

I had my appointment today to get the endometrial biopsy done.  If you have never had this experience, just count yourself very blessed.  I had a couple of friends, who have already had it done, warn me that it was going to be painful but I seriously had no clue.  I thought it couldn't be too much worse than a pap, right?  Um, wrong, so very, very wrong.  The physician's assistant, who was doing it, was trying her best to distract me from the pain but thankfully it didn't take too long.

The thing that bothered me more than anything wasn't the procedure itself but her attitude toward me.  When I was booking the appointment, the woman told me she's fantastic, that she has a really great disposition.  I didn't meet that side of her today until she was doing the procedure.  When she came in and I described having three periods in one month, she told me the cause was my weight.  She put it out there just like that.  She said that when people are overweight, the hormones in our bodies become imbalanced so I'm probably producing too much estrogen.  She said the best thing for me to do was to lose weight.  She also said that I have greater chance of having uterine cancer due to my weight.

So I'm sitting there on the exam table, naked from the waist down save for a paper napkin draped over my lap.  How am I supposed to react to this?  I felt like she was saying to me, "Your eating caused this problem and if you end up with cancer, you only have yourself to blame."  That's not what she said to me, but oh my gosh that's what I heard.  The only thing I could tell her in response is that although I am working on losing weight now (I didn't feel the need to tell her I'm in the pre-op stage of having a gastric bypass), I have concerns about the extra periods now.  She did proceed with the biopsy and then put me on medication to help with the hormone imbalance she feels I have.  I'll get the results in 3-5 days, a new hormone medication and then I have a follow-up appointment with a gynecologist at the end of the month.

I left that appointment in a lot of physical pain from the procedure, but also in a lot of emotional pain.  There was another circumstance of being left to feeling as though I was being judged.  I mean, did my weight cause me to have skin cancer as well?  I understand that weight is a significant factor in a lot of physical ailments we have as a society, but I did not need to be treated as though I was actually wasting her time when I just did this to myself, as least according to her logic.  It's hard to be dignified in these situations when all I wanted to do was tell her, "Look, I'm scared right now.  I don't know why this is happening to me but I do know the last thing I need is for you to treat me as though I am the sole cause of whatever this is."  I'm not even at my heaviest weight, far from it actually.  I just felt tremendously vulnerable today being naked on that table and still sick.  I needed a hug, not to be beaten down.  I realize that weight can be a cause, but there are also a lot of other reasons and there was none of that present in our conversation.

I'm moving on from here.  I'll hear from her in a few days, hopefully with good news.  In the meantime, I'm planning on taking good care of myself this weekend so that I can somehow shake the last of this flu.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Well this stinks!

I'm still sick, still trying to cough up a lung.  Okay, not really, but it sure does feel like it.  I fought myself and stayed home from work today, which I really needed to do.  Just a little bit of talking sends me into violent coughing episodes as evidenced but the couple of people who called me today to check on how I was doing.  Yeah, I'll probably let those calls go to voicemail next time and then just text them back.

At the end of the day, not feeling ready to return to work, I called my supervisor to talk about whether or not I should come in tomorrow.  Everything in me says to stay home one more day - you don't need to prove you've got the biggest balls around town.  Sorry!  Ha ha.  Yet there was another part that feels bad about being out two days.  For the most part, my job is pretty self-enclosed so if I'm not there, my work doesn't get done but it doesn't impact other peoples' workloads right away.  Of course, I did have a workshop scheduled with some of our families but thankfully a few of my lovely co-workers said they would cover it for me.  So when I called my boss, I left her probably the most pathetic voicemail ever:

"Hi, it's Kathy. [cough, cough].  Sorry I missed you but [cough, hack, cough] I think I should stay home tomorrow because [huge cough] I'm still not feeling well.  Sorry about all the [mother freakin cough from who knows where] coughing.  I just feel bad for missing too much work.  Please [cough, wheeze, cough more] text me to let me know what you'd like me to do.  Thanks! [last cough for good measure]."

Not only was the message sad but my voice is even worse.  I'm hoarse and sound incredibly sick.  Pretty clear that I should be staying home, right?  Her response?  A text:

"Kathy please take care of yourself!  We can manage for another day!"

She was way too polite to say, "Hey girl, you sound like shit.  You better stay home and away from us!"  So I'll be staying bundled up tomorrow with my two sweet kitties watching guard over me.  They have been so protective with me.

In the middle of all of this, though, has come another medical issue.  Not a great way to start out the year after having so many medical things going on last year.  This is going to be TMI and I'm super sorry about that.  I sent an e-mail to my doctor telling her that I'm sick right now, but I've just started my third period in the course of one month and that has me concerned because I don't think that's normal.  I got a call back from her nurse, who insisted on discussing this over the phone instead of e-mail even though she could hear how sick I am.  So my phone call with her was a repeat of the message I left for my supervisor multiplied by ten.  Now I'm waiting to get another message to find out what my doctor wants to do.  I'm pretty sure she'll want to run tests at the very least, if not do something more invasive.  Ah, the joys of being a girl.

Keep good thoughts for me please.  At least I can say that I have no appetite to eat so maybe I've dropped a couple of pounds.  I know, ever focused on my weight.  I am so glad I'm moving forward with the gastric bypass soon.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Why I haven't posted in a few days

I have been sick!  Terrible coughing, wheezing, sneezing, fever ... just yuck.  Even my cats meow at me when I get in a coughing spurt.  So, against what I really want to do, I have been staying put in my house to get better.  I have to go back to work on Monday after two weeks off so I'm trying to be in the best shape I can.  I know if I'm not feeling better by then, I can stay home but I complete have cabin fever.  I went out this morning to get more chicken soup because I just wanted to see the sunshine.  I could have called someone, I have a few friends that live nearby, but I wanted to feel like a human being for a few minutes.  Between that and checking my mail, I felt incredibly winded.  It's so hard when you feel bad and still have to deal with the issues of being overweight - it makes things a lot more painful.

Speaking of being overweight, I have a person I was a friend with on Facebook that constantly put in posts about "stop being fat and lazy ... get off the couch and move" or "I don't get why fat people can't just eat better and put the fork down".  In fact, she talks about nothing else.  She had gained some weight while she was pregnant, nothing more than about 30 pounds with each pregnancy and now has this holier than thou attitude because she was able to lose it.  So I finally hit the unfriend button.  I was sick and tired of her being so judgmental about something she doesn't know.

Yes, we all have weight issues, but there are some, like me, that this is so much more than calories in/calories out.  I think most people reading my blog know what I'm talking about.  There are deeper issues at play here than just choosing that food over this one, exercising these many days to burn these many calories, or having to lose 30 pounds versus 200 pounds.  What about the person that feels compelled to eat the whole bag or container?  What about a person that has a "relationship" with food because it comforts them, just like alcohol and drugs does to other sorts of addicts?  I finally said to myself, "Enough!"  I just don't need toxic people in my life.

In a few weeks, I will be starting the pre-op classes for my gastric bypass surgery.  I ordered a few books off of Amazon to learn more about other people's experiences in an in-depth way (love, love, love Amazon by the way - got one of my books for a penny).  There is a lot online about gastric bypass, but I wanted some deep info about how they cope with having surgery, how they deal with the massive amount of weight that is lost and especially about the emotional feelings that will undoubtedly surface.  Several of my friends have been urging me to turn my blog into a book one day about my experiences.  After reading these books, I can completely see how that might be possible.  It seems a lot easier than I had imagined it would be.  I'm not saying I will write the book, but never say never!