I can remember being ecstatic when I was able to get in to size 16 jeans. Going from being able to wear my size 12's very comfortably last year, to wearing 16's this year is NOT a thrill! *sigh*
I haven't written in my blog for a long time. When people veer away from this site it can be for a few reasons. Some people lose so much weight that they find a very full and interesting life and no longer have time to be here. Some people aren't doing that well, and ditch this place, so that they don't have a constant reminder that they are failing once again with the weight loss battle.
I am with the latter group, and also have a few other reasons for not being here as much. I used to have some free time at work and at home to peruse the site, but work has gotten incredibly busy and my home life is so full now, I don't usually even get on my computer when I get home. Also, when this site updated several months ago, I have a real hard time navigating here. A lot of the icons no longer show up, etc. If I use my tiny phone screen, I see everything okay, but that's not much fun. So, I just stepped away.
I have done some serious soul searching the past few months. Although all of us that flock to this site and end up getting weight loss surgery have battled with obesity, not all of us have the same demons. For some, they were naturally at a healthy weight until they had children or hit menopause, etc. Others have had a love/hate relationship with food for nearly their entire life. I have battled my weight since I was around 12 years old.
To delve deeper, those that have had a life-long struggle, struggle for different reasons. Maybe there is a hormonal or adrenal reason for the overeating. Maybe someone experienced some painful abuse or tragedies and turned to food as comfort. Whatever the reason we ended up here, WLS is not really a one-size-fits-all cure to obesity. Unfortunately, for some of us, we have to really work on the mental portion of weightloss and lifestyle changes, or the weight will come back.....just like it has all of our lives.
Sure, most of us had to take a psychological test before being approved for surgery.....however, that doesn't really (in my opinion) end up being a stamp of approval, that yes, you are of sound mind enough that you will never go back to eating in an unhealthy way. We end up with a smaller stomach, or a restricted stomach, but our emotional ties with food don't automatically end when we wake up from surgery. Oh how I wish.
As for me, WLS has been a true blessing for me. I first got the LapBand in January 2008. My first surgeon was a true quack. Thank goodness for Obesity Help folks, or I wouldn't have been able to survive life with my band. I learned so much about what to expect and what different signals my body was sending meant. The quack fled the state and my insurance company assigned me to a different surgeon for follow-ups. He's wonderful. I eventually had surgery to fix a slipped band (thanks to the quack), and then a couple of years later, surgery to convert from a Band to the Sleeve. So, six years after my initial WLS, I am only down 60 of my 100 pound goal. (I did lose that 100, but have since been up and down quite a bit)
The fact that I am still obese by BMI charts is not my surgeon's fault. My stomach is now sleeved, for two years now, and I still have nice restrction. I never ever lost my hunger with the sleeve, but if my head were in the right place, I would be avoiding carbohydrates and would lose weight, even with hunger involved. So, the problem lies with me. What is it about me that finds food to be such a strong addiction? After all, I have gone through 3 surgeries to be healthy. Before surgery, I went on every diet known to man, and tried every gimmick sold to desperate suckers like myself.
Last year, I even started seeing a therapist that specializes in eating disorders. I KNOW I have a very unhealthy relationship with food, and I really wanted someone to help me see exactly why and how to make my relationship with food funtional. After a few sessions, I knew in my heart that the answer lie somewhere out there, but this woman was not going to lead me to it. I had done a lot of the work on my own and shared with her what I felt were the issues, but she just kept having me weigh in and asked me dumb questions like, "Do you know what BMI is?" Seriously??? I am a lifer in the diet world.........that's an insult.
So, I quit seeing her and had plans on trying to find a different therapist. You see, I was sexually abused by my own father my entire life, growing up. I know that a lot of my addictions to food stem from the abuse. I experienced to some great healing from a therapist when it came to the abuse, several years before. She just couldn't help with the food addictions. I needed a therapist that specialized in eating disorders, to help me normalize my food habits. Well, I never did persue a different eating disorder therapist, as life got in the way. Work really picked up and I was also working on planning our wedding part, etc., etc., etc.
The wedding and the party went well, with just a few hitches to get over....then starting in October I got put on furlough, with countless other government employees. That was a very unsettling experience. I felt pretty certain that I would eventually get paid for the time I wasn't allowed to work, but when? Rent and car payments were still due. Utilities and insurance still needed to be paid. It was a very unsettling experience. I calmed my nerves by baking and cooking.....A LOT. Before you know it, it's the holidays, and did I have money saved up to by presents? Of course not.......stress. Food everywhere around the holidays and stress are NOT a good combination for me. I KNOW this about me, and I KNOW that there has to be ways to conquer these situation other than by sheer will power, but how? After all, you wouldn't expect an alcoholic to turn down a drink, especially if he/she feels like she needs that drink to get through the day. There is only so much will power for those with addictions.
I was kicking myself for not persuing a good therapist. I know myself, and I know what situations and emotions just turn me in to a carbohydrate eating machine. Come January and February, I notice that none of my clothes are fitting properly. UGH. I am not comfortable at work, or at home. At least at home I can put on some sweat pants. I know better, I know that elastic can decieve me in to believing that I haven't gained THAT much weight. So, I start going back to the gym. That's great, but I quickly let life get in the way, once again. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I am an intelligent woman, what the hell is wrong with me???? I am now having to go BUY clothes that I cannot afford to buy because I out of control with my eating. Talk about being depressed.
I got a call in February that my dad was brain dead and had to give permission to take him off of life support. Yes, this is the same dad that was sexually abusive and a drug addict. I had cut him out of my life about 7 years ago, but this news really stings. My relationship wtih him can never be repaired now. It's gone. It's over. It's final. Was I going to miss someone that I had already banned from my life? My dad was truly gone now. I have to tell you, I had a very hard time sorting through my feelings, and still am struggling with that.
Well, being a bit depressed, my husband I went to the library. I automatically went to the self-help/diet book section. Old habit. LOL I found a book titled, "Weight Loss For Those That Feel Too Much". I was definitely feeling a bit too much and grabbed the book. I didn't even look at it for a week or so. One evening I started reading it and was really blown away. Seriously, blown away. This is not a typical weight loss book with a few recipes or menu plans to follow. This was the therapist I had been searching for....in my library book. WTH?! Who knew?
So, as I stated before, many of us have different reasons to have ended up obese and turning to surgery. This book will not help everyone and will not be relateable by all. This book truly speaks to me. The author describes who I am, why I overeat and why react to stress the way I do. There is quite a bit of work involved....cognitive therapy. This involves a lot of journaling, self love and forgiveness. The result will hopefully be that I become a person that can better filter my experiences with those around me, detox my feelings daily, and have a very functional relationship with food. The author doesn't push any kind of diet to lose weight, just helps you to get to a healthy place in your head to be able to follow the diet of your choosing. The author went a low-carb route. With my diabetes and triggers, I know that sticking to low-carb, paleo, eating with help me, as well.
I look forward to posting updates in here now. I still have my Sleeve....she works great, except for the hunger (grrrrr), now I just need to get my mind and soul on board. I know that there is a healthy person inside of me that is longing to come out and be front and center. Besides, I don't want to spend money on buying a whole new wardrobe unless it's for a GOOD reason. Wish me luck! Self-therapy it is.