Thursday, May 27, 2010

As my date gets closer, I am faced with more and more animosity from my friends and family about what I am doing. I have only told a select few thinking that they would be okay with it and I could rely on support. One freind asked me how in the hell I think I can afford it. When I explained that it is covered by my insurance because my health and life is endagenered, he quickly changed the subject, but before we parted ways, he told me his supper was ready and he had to go get fatter. Wow. Seriously? Does he think I'm just giving up here? Taking the easy way out? My God, I have been on every diet, I've starved, I've lived off of carrots and turned orange, I ate 1 peanut butter sandwich all day every day for a month and gained 3 pounds, I went vegan and lost nothing. I've choked down dry chicken breasts and broccolli with no butter, gave up soda, coffee, cheese, milk, ice cream, chocolate. I've done it all and got nothing in return. You think this is easy!? My stomach will be the size of a walnut and will exit directly into my large intestine. Sugar will make me dump. The first year I get to nibble on things to see if they will make me puke or not. I will be on vitamines for the rest of my life. I can't have pop, beer, alcohol. I will have skin folds that I will have to live with for at least 2 years. My life is completely changing and this is not easy. Is it worth it to me? Fuck yeah. Without a doubt. There is no question in my mind. My sister said that all too soon I will be all skinny weraing cute clothes and strutting my stuff around. yeah. Fuck yeah. Have I ever been able to wear cute anything? Nope, never. Even my baby clothes were months ahead of my age. I got my first pair of girl jeans in the fifth grade because until Gitano came along, jeans didnt come in my size. Back then I was wering my teenaged sister and middle aged aunt's hand-me downs because I was too fat to fit into age appropriate stuff. I was teased, harassed, beat up, picked on, poked fun at, called names, pushed against the wall, alone at parties. Fuck you. You'r fuckin right I'm going to enjoy my freedom and all the bad that goes with it. A friend of mine who wanted to have a baby told me she wanted to be pregnant so bad. She wanted the aches and pains, the nausia, the stretch markes, the emotions--everything. She wanted it all because having a baby meant so much to her. This is my baby and it is worth every fucking second. You wonder why I don't want to tell people? This is why. I have people that are angry at me for trying to live longer, be comfortable, be heathier and find myself within this stupid rotten body. Why don't you just go on a diet? Why don't you just exercise? I know this one girl that was going to have bypass, and the preliminaries were so empowering, she lost the weight on her own--why can't you do that? Because I can't. Because its more than just laziness and indulgence. Becuase I have a family history, because I have never known thin, because I don't care to spend the rest of my life tryng and failing when I could be living and enjoying. When this is over, I will be proud of what I have done. I am not ashamed of myself anymore. I've been ashamed and embarassed my whole life. I'm done. I am done. I AM DONE.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

talkin' about the me time

So today was my day off and I was really in need of something new. I rode with hubby to the parts store with the kiddos and before we went home, I stopped at Ormson's and grabbed some cold chicken, grapes and strawberries. Since Curt had to get home and work, we had a small picnic in the yard. Noodle (the dog)ate all the chicken bones and got a handful of crisps and a whole stalk of grapes all to himself. Then Luke and Emma played in the sand while I got to hang out in the shop and weld. I haven't done that since last fall and it felt good to create something. The kids were awesome and Lucas even made Emma a bottle and put her down for a nap when she was ready without disturbing me at all. I made 2 things utilizing the solar lights I had found a while back.

Today I feel...I don't know. Not bad, but I am starting to find something within myself that I haven't really had for a long time--an opinion. A lot of times I have something to say, but won't really say it because I don't want to offend. Lately I have been saying and asking and explaining without really thinking about the outcome. Granted, I try to think about what I have to say before I say it so I'm not sounding like an ignoramus asshole, but I feel a tinge of guilt when I think feathers might be riled. I'm not sure why this is happening. I'm not sure I like it. I'm not at all sure that I am liked for it. I'm not sure that I can handle the repercussions should someone disagree. I'm stuck in the middle of...something.

Tomorrow I go see my chiropractor. She really does help with the aches and pains of "going" and I have even found that I don't really need to take my Prozac. I feel good overall. Not emotional, or tidal, or depressed like I usually am. I am still taking my stratterra religiously. I don't pretend to be able to focus alone, but it seems the adjustments are helping the depression as well as the sun and just getting out a bit. I'm sure it's a group effort.

Still waiting to start the LEARN program. I've been reading my book as well as another that kind of empowers. I haven't formed an opinion yet, but it's interesting, though a little monotonous.

I'm almost there. Not too much longer. I'm so excited, so ready. I can't wait to get up in front of people and sing, to be able to meet people. Just go out and not feel so giant. I have a huge list of things I want to do. Petty to some I suppose, but so huge to me. Walk through a turnstile, sit in a movie theater seat, cross my legs, wear a cute outfit and look cute in it, sit in a booth at a restaurant and not have to ask for a table because I don't fit, drive without the steering wheel rubbing on my belly, run, make love to my husband without feeling weird or embarrassed, take that belly dancing class I have wanted to take for YEARS...Oh GOD I am SO ready for this!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

And THEN they tell me I have to exercise...

So, I am struggling with the exercise part. Not that I don't want to as much as it is hurting the hell out of me.

Let's start this out from the beginning. First of all, I had to go in and visit with this cardio exercise expert person. This was fine, I mean, I'm committed, I am all for following protocol. The funny part was the fact that my expert just happened to be someone that I went to school with. I can't say that she was mean to me by any means, but we definitely did not run in the same circles. I doubt we talked, though, you know she is the type of person I do not want to end up in front of, fat and desperate asking advice on fitness.

Yes. I did get over it sort of. I mean, we are both adults now. I probably am the only one in the room feeling weird and bloated and ashamed of myself. Whatever. If I am to do this, I am doing it with or without Miss G. So we talked about my job, how many kids, what I do in my spare time, what I think is fun. We talked about fitness and what was expected of me during and after my GB journey. She told me she would like to see 1 hour of cardio fitness (walking, exercise tapes, treadmill, swimming) every day 6 days a week.

I went out, bought myself some really good shoes, loaded my MP3 with inspiration and started walking. I did pretty good, walked all through my hour without much trouble. My lower back hurt the first 15 minutes or so, but eventually I got into the groove. I finished my walk, showered and went to bed...

The next morning I was pretty sore. My hip hurt, my shoulders, my FEET. I figured it would take me a minute to get used to it and to keep plugging away. That evening I went for another walk, this time my hip and my feet bothered most of the hour and it felt really great to get those shoes off and be barefoot again, though my hip was really giving me trouble and by morning I was barely able to get to the coffee pot. I muddled through the third day, but when I tried to get my shoes on for my walk, my feet seemed swollen and I was unable to get the shoes tied. I started walking, determined to get through it. I have to do this or I can't have my surgery. This surgery that I have been ready for my whole life depends on whether I can do this. A half hour later, I was sitting at the end of my sister's driveway with my shoes off crying because I honestly could not take even one more step. I was so upset with myself that I had allowed myself to get to the point that even something as easy as an hour walk could literally leave me crippled. I was not in a good place. My sister drove me home and I went to bed.

I can not tell you how much I love my husband. If he was not here, I know I would have given up on myself. No matter what I see in the mirror, he always sees this beautiful person. He sees the real me that is in here somewhere and he lets me know that I am loved while he discusses my struggles. he told me that it really wasn't about just walking, but it was about moving in general. If I can't do an hour, then I do a half. If I cant wear shoes, then I lap the yard barefoot in the grass or I try something else. It's not all about walking, its about moving and doing what I CAN do.

My struggle was that while I have always been fat, I have never been unable. I struggle with the unable and the pain that makes me unable. Horrible.

Anyway, I got on Freecycle and lo and behold, there was a gazelle for free. I emailed the owner and picked it up the same day. Unfortunately, when I got it home, I felt like I was going to fall off, I was off balance and extremely uncomfortable and unable to relax. To be honest, I think I am just plain too big and the gazelle was not helping my feet out other than I was able to be barefoot. It was not going to work. I then found a bicycle for free and found that to be okay, however, the tension did not work at all and there was no resistance. I did not feel like I was getting much out of the situation. My mother in law had a really nice stationary bike that was mostly unused. I asked if I could borrow it. Alas, MIL said no, but she did have a peddle thing that allowed you to sit in a regular chair and cycle WITH resistance. I love it. It gives my feet a rest, but I am still doing my hour.

As for my hip/shoulders/back etc. My hubby suggested going to see the chiropractor. His theory was that I was just out of adjustment and getting straightened out would be good for me physically as well as mentally.

So, I am seeing Lisa twice a week and she is wonderful. While she kicks my ass, I ask her questions about why I am having such trouble, how I can stay in adjustment, why do my feet hurt so much, what is her thoughts on barefoot shoes and Temperpedic beds?? We have good talks. My hardest problem area is my hip and it hurts a lot to be adjusted there. She told me that my body is trying to be active with a lot of extra weight that it has not had to be active with for over a year (Since I started working full time as a medical transcriptionist). It is going to take me a while to get strong again. On the bright side, while everything hurts the same during exercise, it hurts less the morning after and I am able to function. As for my "great walking shoes" She says screw 'em. My feet are conditioned for barefoot. Supportive shoes are for weak feet with no muscle tone and strength to support themselves. If I have to be barefoot, then be barefoot. Until the weight starts coming off and my body gets stronger, she said she's "Got my back..." hehe...

Another thing I should throw in here after all my mental grief is the conversation I had with my psychologist this past week. We talked about the LEARN program that I will be taking part in next month and some of the goals that are expected of me before being approved to have my surgery. When touching on the subject of exercise, he stated he wanted to see me doing 10-15 minutes every day of cardio something. I said, "10-15 minutes on top of the hour I have to do every day?"
"You are doing an hour every day?"
"Well, I have my struggles, but I am trying to do something every day-an hour is my eventual goal at the moment, but when I started out, yes, I was doing an hour. I just could not move the next day." I then went on to tell the story of me and my chiropractor and blah blah blah.
He said, "Oh. Well, you are doing more than what we expect of you. One goal met then."


So, I am still working on 40 lbs (even 10 pounds will make the surgery easier for my doctors). Still trying to keep my head right, still reading my LEARN textbook and getting ready to start my 12-week therapy group. I have my ups and downs. Sometimes I can't come to terms with what I am doing. The pros far outweigh the cons. I am not giving up. This is really a hard thing to do. With or without intervention, I need to change or I will die. I'm not ready to die yet. I have lots of living to do.

Friday, May 14, 2010

took the blindfolds off.

I took a walk barefoot in the woods. I took the blindfolds off my feet and I walked. I gripped the grass and leaves with my toes, stood on a patch of soft moss and meandered quietly through the woods as one of the natives. I found a morel today. Just one. I picked some ferns and stood in the sun digging my toes in the wet sand. Before coming home I dug up a few dandelions to add to my stir fry. Its a beautiful day today.

Before I came home I took a minute to think about what was going to happen to me in a few short weeks. I've started to tell people. Some of them are happy, some of them treat me like I'm cheating. Sometimes I feel like I'm cheating. I think about where I will be in a year and wonder if I should take credit when I have to reroute my insides to even accomplish it. When someone tells me congrats, do I accept it with pride? I don't know. My life is changing. Its changing and I don't really know how I'm supposed to feel.

I used to daydream when I was younger, that my outward appearance was a costume. My fat suit was necessary because I was soooo beautiful that without the disguise my beauty would get in the way.

I finally have a chance to be more than my weight for once. I can introduce myself to someone without the first thought being whoa! I can be described as something other than the fat girl, chunky, heavy, big boned, matronly, fluffy, ugly. In that regard I am so happy it makes me cry. I can finally take off the fat suit.

On the other hand, will I always be, "See her, she had gastric bypass." I heard that so many times when out garage saleing with friends this weekend. Instead of being defined by their weight, these people were defined by the method they used to take it off.

I am probably looking to far into the inevitable. After all, this is about me and what makes me happy. The labels I receive are no different than "That black guy, that street person, that gay person, that crazy girl, that dude with the huge nose"...No one ever really sees anyone else as just a person without some defining label. I guess I would rather be "That one that was really fat and had the GB surgery, " than "That one that is really fat."

I'm going home to blanch my supper and serve it over rice. My treat after taking some me time today. It was nice. I can do it again.

The first post.

Well, here it is. My first post. To say that a blog is embodied by the first post put a lot of pressure on the fact that I am starting this on advice from a very good friend of mine for the sole purpose of blogging about my gastric bypass surgery.

At first, I have to say I was excited and empowered by this idea. but as the months wear on, the wait is wearing on the reality just enough to make it just another thing. Like a birthday, or graduation from tech school. Nothing special. No need to be excited. Its just a thing.

I took the time to write said friend a nice long email about my life in general, I don't know, possibly a little vent without being a drag, but in her return she mentioned something that made me think:

"You know, I have been doing this blogging thing for over 10 years and in almost every case -- people who have children only blog about them until they are about 3 or 4. Then they stop. They start talking about themselves again. I realize this is because the children don't need them as much anymore. The adult can focus more on themselves again."

I never realized how true that was. I have been saddened by the fact that another child could possibly kill me, always saying how I wanted so many. Selfish of me I know, when there are no many deserving parents that cannot have their own and would be more than happy with just one...I think about this and wonder, is it that I really want a lot of babies to take care of, or is it that I am trying to find an excuse to ignore myself? Is this my comfort zone, to be salve to my children's needs and whims wishing I had more time to rediscover who I was before they were such a major part of my life?

I used to be so free to create and solve problems and to read and think and laugh and swear and indulge in the little things that used to define me, that made me unique and dare I say it? Even beautiful in my own way.

I started the journey to gastric bypass years ago, but gave it up because of my kids. I handed over my chance at self esteem to take care of my nephew, take care of my newborn daughter, help my son transition his life from being an only child to the middle child. They needed me more than I needed to fit into my high school jeans. I'm not saying this was a bad decision. I'm not saying I regret my babies--NEVER. I would do it again in a heartbeat. But I realize that I have given myself to them fully and lost a lot of what I was, the person that my husband fell in love with. The artist and the singer, the creative problem solver, quirky dresser, spur-of-the-moment-er now is 450 lbs, in a house dress all of the time, never leaves home, works from home to be accessible to her kids, eats what the kids want to eat, catches a shower, works, cleans and sleeps when they sleep. I have a dude haircut because its easy. I don't wear makeup because its easy. I don't dress up because it's easy to throw sweats on, I don't eat healthy because it's easier to open a can.

So, some burst of self came out one day and I decided to try again. I'm not sure what prompted it, but I am 3 months into the process with 3 months to go. Its like the fairy tale where the prince can marry the princess that can spin straw into gold IF he accomplishes milking a constipated elephant, runs naked through a patch of thorns and eats dirt while juggling overripe potatoes. I have to visit the cardio exercise lady, a psychologist, the surgeon, pulmonologist, undergo a sleep study, 3 weeks of weigh loss therapy group, another psychology visit, a general medical check up, dietitian, more cardio exercise talking, lose 40 lbs, 3 more weeks of weight loss therapy class and one last psychology before my fate hangs in the collective opinion of all these doctors and my surgeon before finally getting to go under the knife. When the psychologist asked me why I am doing it, I told him because I want to be around for my kids. Not my husband, not my friends, my kids.

The newness is wearing off. I no longer daydream about how beautiful I will be, how much energy I will have and how much more comfortable I will be in my own body. Instead I am back to meandering through each day changing diapers, doing dishes, homeschooling and mothering. GB seems so far away...

Anyway-I think my GB journal will not be as much GB as a journal of self discovery. I am ready for my life to change a little bit. I want to maintain my motherly status, but I need to make some time to be me, to be a wife and a lover to my husband. My conversations need to consist of more than what the kids did today. I need to find myself again, so my new body will have a personality to go with it.

I love my babies more than air, but I wonder if living and breathing for these kids makes me a good mom, or an obsessive loser? When they are grown, what will I do? What will I talk to Curtis about?

So here we go. Step one. Hi Jess. What are YOU going to do today?