Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pre-op class #12, weekly weigh-in & seeing my therapist

Last night was class number 12 of my pre-op bariatric classes through Kaiser.  Hooray, we're halfway there!  I find myself looking forward to the classes every week, not only because of what we may be talking about but also because my fellow classmates are an amazing group of people.  We had a speaker who shared her experience of having the gastric sleeve done about a year and a half ago.  She even revealed her stomach with the excess skin.  For some people, that might have been discouraging since it seems most have a huge hope that they will be the person who does not end up with loose skin.  With the amount of weight I need to lose, I am realistic and know I will be sporting excess skin.  But I look at it this way:  would I rather have excess skin or a round body that fills up all my skin?  Besides, I lost 192 pounds before ... I know exactly what my body looked like at the time.  My tummy wasn't bad at all compared to my thighs.  I had major excess skin there.  Yet, I accept it for what it is and would gladly have that problem versus being overweight and unhealthy.  My whole thing with having the weight loss surgery has been about quality of life issues.

In terms of my weigh-in, I lost another two pounds.  Yay!  I'm happy to steadily be going down, down, down.  That's a 16 pound loss since I started the classes, which I will gladly take.  During my Spring Break this week, I have been trying to stay as active as possible.  This morning, for example, I decided that I was going to go to one of our local lakes that has a five mile course around it and get a good walk in.  It's been hot here, in the 90's, but I figured that since I was walking in the morning, it wouldn't be so bad.  I wasn't intending on walking all the way around the lake, but maybe doing about three miles or so.  How bad can exercise be when there's such a pretty view?  This is a picture of part of the lake on the right.  As I parked my car and prepared my gear for the walk, I thought to myself, "Hmm, feels a little warm."  Despite how pretty it was, I was sweating in a matter of a few minutes and decided to turn my shrinking butt around and head back to my car.  It was just way to hot for comfort (I found out later it was 95 degrees).  I did a mile there and then decided that the air conditioned comfort of my gym had my name all over it!  I ended up doing three more miles on the treadmill with the cool air surrounding me.  Ahhhh.

Prior to my class yesterday, I had a session with my therapist.  Man, that was incredibly emotional.  I'm one of those people who refuses to lie to her therapist because, really, what's the point of that?  When I get honest, especially about things that I carefully avoid talking about to other people, the emotions seem to smack me in the face and leave me feeling incredibly vulnerable.  One of the first things we talked about is something that has been bothering me for quite some time.  In the last year or two, my fear of heights has gotten to a debilitating level and it's really concerning me.  I've always had a fear of heights, ever since I was a small child.  Lately, though, it's crossed over into almost a terror feeling.  I will avoid heights, no matter if it's a few feet off the ground or several stories.  I think it's not even about the height necessarily but the fear of falling.  I was recently walking with a friend on a very small bridge and told her I had to turn around.  When you look at the bridge we were on, you would probably question my sanity because it was not that high at all.  It's just an awful feeling for me inside.  My heart starts racing, my legs become rubbery and I go into a panic attack.  It's a horrible feeling that I can't really describe well, but it is a true fear for me.  Suffice it to say that I avoid heights at all costs.  It's been bothering me a lot, though, because I feel absolutely disabled by it.  So we're going to start treatment in regards to that.  I know this means that, through the therapy, I will likely eventually have to get back on a bridge or some such thing.  I'm tired of avoiding it, though.  There are things I simply won't do because heights are involved.

The other half of the session focused in on the issue I described in my last post - feeling "less than" and body image.  Thank you to those who were so sweet to leave me a message.  We really delved into my history with men, from being raped, having a period of high promiscuity to even how things ended with my ex-boyfriend.  I was in absolute tears talking to her.  It's not as if I'm planning on looking to start a relationship right now.  With my preparation for surgery, I have a lot on my plate and getting involved with someone is not something I want to do.  Can you imagine dating and having to explain why you're only eating tiny bits of food or somehow experience "dumping" in front of them?  That would be incredibly embarrassing.  The feelings that I'm going through right now are more about loving and accepting myself now.  We definitely are our own worst critics, me included.  I don't want to look in the mirror and think of myself as an ugly, unworthy, hideous human being any longer.  That's not fair, to myself or anyone else that tells me I'm opposite of that.  I even had a man checking me out several times at the gym today.  If that's not a boost, then I don't know what is!  These are feelings I don't verbalize with other people, but I do want to be able to get to a point where I can appreciate myself in the same way others do.  I don't want to constantly stare in the mirror and tear myself down.  So I'm bringing these feelings out and talking about them with my therapist.  She told me she wants to see me more often, which I'm happy to do.  I want to move past the self-criticism into a healthier existence - body, mind and soul.

Water Challenge Day 75:  Drank 180 of 178 ounces 


Beth Ann said...

I have a lot of loose skin on my extremities. I had my arms "done", but my thighs are a saggy mess. I may or may not do something about that in the future, but I'm with you...I'm just happy they are smaller!!

Kathy said...

I can't even imagine how much surgery would cost to take care of all of the excess skin! That's awesome you had your arms done. I have a friend who did hers and it wasn't a pleasant experience.

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