One snail

One snail

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I thought things were going well...and then...

I've been racing along, super busy with work (more on that below), and feeling pleased with my progress.  I was making it closer to my water and protein goals, getting more vitamins in, and watching my clothes start to fall off.  Has it ever happened to you, though, that all of a sudden something takes the wind out of your sails?

That's what happened to me this week.  I had my "phone consultation" with my nutritionist.  (Now, this is not the one from my surgeon's office--this one is part of my requirements from my insurance company.)  She asked her usual questions about how I was feeling, my energy, etc., and then asked what my weight was.  I told her (it was 266).  There was this pause.  Then she said, "How do you feel about that?"  Gulp. There was something in her tone.  I said I felt pretty good--I was continuing to lose, but perhaps had come to a little plateau.  Wasn't that normal?  I had read a lot about those 3rd or 4th week stalls.  Her response:  silence.

In truth, I hadn't paid much attention to how many pounds I had lost since I last talked to her two weeks ago.  I was losing...I was happy about that.  So I said to her, "It sounds like you think I am not doing well...that I should be losing more."  She compared my loss in the previous two weeks (10 pounds) to my loss in this last two weeks (5 pounds).  I did what I needed to do to get through the last part of the phone call. ("Yes, okay.  Yes, I'll try that.  Yes, I'll up my exercise.")  I hung up and sat kind of stunned.

I started to second-guess myself.  Have I been eating too much fat?  Did I eat too many calories?  I did take one tiny bite of that cake pop from Starbucks.  I ate a little rice with my tofu and broccoli.  I did skip a few workouts because my arthritis has been super painful. (We went from 30's and crisp to 40's and a damp fog here.)  OH NO!  Have I messed this whole thing up???

Later, telling this experience to my partner (the phone call took place at work), I burst into tears.  And here's the response that got me to stop crying:  Don't let what she said get you down.  She doesn't know you. She's never really met you. She can't even see what you look like! You are doing amazing.

And I started to feel a little better.  I am a unique individual.  I might not be following some chart they hand out at the nutrition team meetings.  But I can still feel good about the past two weeks.  I also don't need to reject the information I heard altogether.  (So...I really should focus more on my exercise, despite my hip pain.)

What do you think?  Am I making excuses?  Should I take what she said more seriously?  I don't know, but I do know I've also had a few important NSVs last week:

  1. My primary care doc reduced my blood pressure meds by half.
  2. She is referring me for a home-study on my sleep apnea, because I have some signs that I might need lower pressure on my CPAP--or even not need it.
  3. I get comments every day from co-workers about how good I look (or how my clothes are falling off, lol)
  4. I had to put two more pairs of pants in the "donate" bags, because I was tripping over them.
Oh, and I lost 4 more pounds since Thursday's phone call.  That puts me 2 pounds away from a 75 pound total loss (since August when I started preparing for surgery).

So, a little happier now, and with a little additional motivation for change, I'm ready to tackle the work week tomorrow.  Speaking of, here's my report on how work has been going... has been a whirlwind!  I went back to work full-time on the 2nd week of the term, and we're now going into the 5th week.  Just when I have my schedule down, I have to revise it because something else gets added.  Luckily, I'm feeling a lot (a lot!) more energy, because I sure need it!  I'm teaching a full-time load plus some, doing my department chair duties on top of that, and also working on training faculty in our new online teaching software.  (If you know about online classroom management programs, we're moving from Blackboard to Canvas.)  But it's all lots of fun--I really do love my job. :-)

As you can see, I haven't had much time to blog--although I'm trying to keep up on reading some of my blog list!  I don't know what this next week will bring, but hopefully I can keep up at least a weekly report.

Take care, all!

Friday, January 11, 2013

4 weeks since surgery

Wow!  4 weeks have passed since I went into the hospital to have my gastric bypass.  It has both been sooooo slow, and sooooo fast!  Here are a few of my accomplishments so far:

  1. Let's just start with the scale:  LOST 25 pounds!  With the 40 I lost before surgery, that puts me down 65.
  2. Proved I can give myself a shot.  My doctor required twice-a-day injections of a blood thinner (Lovenox) for 28 days after I left the hospital.  Although I am lucky enough to have a super partner who did most of them for me, I have also done it myself!  It is kind of scary, but I keep telling myself if I didn't get this surgery, I might have been injecting myself with insulin for life.
  3. Had to bag up some clothes to donate because they are too big.  I did a big purge of the closet!  (Unfortunately the bags are still here in the house--I couldn't lift them at first per doctor's orders, lol!)
  4. Gained an even greater appreciation for the amazing support people in my life.  They did so much for me--I can't even list!--and I was actually able to LET them take care of me. (This is an accomplishment for a caregiver-type like me.)
...and here are a few of the challenges:
  1. I had no idea how difficult it would be to manage X amount of water and Y amount of protein and Z amount of vitamins, especially when you can't have X with Y, and you can only have Z with certain other Z, and there are only a certain number of waking hours in a day!
  2. Finding okay protein powders.  Enough said about that.
  3. I keep wanting to do projects at home that involve lifting, bending, and carrying, but I am still fairly sore on my left side.  Thinking I should try to hold off for a little longer.
  4. It takes longer than I'd have thought to get back to my regular stamina level.  I went back to work full-time on Monday and kept going from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm--repeat on Tuesday--then...crashing commenced!  I didn't understand why everyone at work kept stopping by my office to check on me!  I'm glad it's the weekend now. :-)
It's a work in progress...but I know I made the right choice.  What an amazing start to 2013 and to my 50th year on the planet. :-)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Time to Advance! Charge!

The weight-loss-surgery arena (and really, blogging in general!) has such interesting language.  I'm a newbie to a lot of this, being just 3 weeks out.  Oops...I did it already:

3 weeks out = 3 weeks after having had weight loss surgery

When I first started reading blogs focused on weight loss, I was a little confused.  Everyone is always having an NSV!

NSV = Non-Scale Victory = something cool that happens during weight loss besides seeing your pounds or kilos going down.

Then, for the ladies, they would have a visit from TOM, or TTOTM.  Tom?  Is he someone who travels around the world somehow making a woman's weight go up or stall?

TOM = Time Of the Month and TTOTM = That Time Of The Month

I started reading forums (like, and needed a decoder ring at first to break the code people had on their posts, such as "HW = a, SW = b, CW = c, GW = d."  Translated this is:

HW = highest weight
SW = surgery weight (or start weight, if losing without surgery)
CW = current weight
GW = goal weight

And I will admit that I puzzled over this one for a while:  OT in the title of a post

OT = Off Topic = a post on a weight loss forum not related to weight loss

Now, I totally understand acronyms and assigning specific meaning to words and phrases!  After all, my training is in mental health, and we have ADHD, ODD, GAD, SAD, BPD, PTSD, DID, NOS and the DSM, among others.

But I have to admit, I got quite the visual when my surgeon said I could "advance my diet" yesterday.  Advance it?  As in, the zombies are advancing?  As in, some jobs required an advanced degree?  Or as in Monopoly, the "advance to the nearest railroad" card?

I guess it is all of that, really--my pureed diet was like preschool, and now I've advanced a grade to primary school.  I am advancing in my fight against the fat cells.  My diet graduated and is now in 1st grade, so gave up naps for language arts and mathematics.

I don't know, maybe I think about these things too much--or I have way too vivid of an imagination--or my mind doesn't really see the world in the usual way.  But what I WILL say is I am SO glad to advance to soft foods!  I can't even say how glad.  I had puree for 3 weeks, due to the holidays.  That's long enough!

Soft foods, look out, because I'm advanced!

P.S. I can't really eat apples yet.  I just liked this picture. :-)