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Step by step on December 21, 2010 7:33 am
I talked to my therapist yesterday about decreasing my meds. She was actually pretty supportive. When I went through some of the issues I've had, the weight graph from fitday that shows when my weight issue began and the other things we discussed, I think it makes sense to at least try to decrease the amount of meds I take and see if that helps. Today I see the psych who actually writes the prescriptions to tell him what I want to do. I have had these discussions with him over the last year. I think his view is... well you aren't depressed so things must be great. My therapist commented yesterday that the emotional effects of medication are one measurement but so are physical effects. I'm glad she is hearing me.
I have never considered my WLS a quick fix to my weight problems.It's more like a war with many battles that are fought. There are always casualties in these battles. My goal has always been to learn from each experience to minimize the casualties. I use different metaphores for my journey-- walking on the path, war, etc. It's all the same. Learning from my mistakes so I can stop making them in the future.
I admitted to my therapist that I can't figure out why I am dispondent over this issue. I am not exercising but I am not freaked out about it. I am not making the best eating choices but it's not concerning me, etc. The me of 2 years ago would be allowing myself to make one or two unhealthy eating choices as a treat and then immediately getting right back on my healthy eating program. This has just not been the case. I believe in taking responsibility for my actions and being accountable for what I do. But, there's also a point where I start beating myself up over things I have no control over. Why was I so effective at this process and now I'm not? What is the major change?
When I began therapy, it was because I had lost all the weight I had wanted to but I found I was not happy. Somehow, I thought that losing that shroud of fat was going to magically transform me into another person-- maybe freeing me. Well, the fat was really the symptom for other underlying issues I'm sure. I ate to hide from my sexuality. I ate because I was bored and lonely. I ate to celebrate things or because I was sad. I ate because of a variety of emotional "triggers" that I no longer was allowing myself to respond to. Somewhere, my brain was struggling with that I'm sure. The first therapist I started seeing listened for quite a while and finally gave me the diagnosis "bi-polar/hypo manic (a little manic)". That started the process of medication and where I am today.
I have a new therapist-- wanted to see someone who is in the same practice as the guy who writes the scripts so he can read her notes instead of me trying to remember everything we talk about when it comes time to get my prescriptions. I don't know if the initial diagnosis is correct. Maybe it is and maybe it's not. It doesn't mean that the level of meds they give me is correct. Maybe it's too strong or the wrong one. I still struggle with anxiety and I take meds. I'd rather exercise everyday and feel like I am living a healthy lifestyle than feel like I am slowly reverting back to my old ways. My therapist is hearing that and it will become the centerpiece of our discussions moving into 2011.
So today I went downstairs and I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes and I rode my exercise bike for 15 minutes. I didn't do any stretching, strength training, ab crunches or the other things I might have done in the past but it's a start. I'm a huge believer in 10 minutes is better than no minutes. I did something today to help me turn this ship in the direction I want to go in. Last night, Jack baked me some chicken and steamed some broccoli. It's funny how the simplest of things are often the best. I'm having a bowl of low sugar oatmeal as a late breakfast. It's really cold here in Atlanta today. It's anot a high-protein focussed breakfast but it's low calorie and it's filling. I'm going to follow it with a banana and hop in the shower knowing I took 2 steps toward my goals. It's better than running away from them!
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It was my back on December 20, 2010 10:05 am
It has been quite a while since I have posted on my blog. Normally, when I am not actively posting on my OH journal, it's not a good sign. By that, I mean I am usually not actively engaged in my WLS journey. I was just re-reading a few of my most recent posts. Maybe I should have been re-reading those before. I had/have been struggling for a while now. Why can't I find the will power to exercise like I did? Why am I struggling with my portions, food choices, etc.? Where did the passion for health and wellness go?
I am going to take these topics on individually because I think they are each affected by different things. I found out about 2 months ago that I had a herniated disc in my low back (L5/S1) and it was driving me crazy with terrible shooting pains down my left leg from my pelvic bone all the way to behind the knee cap. Maybe this has been going on for a while before the nerve pain really got out of control. I ended up trying more cortisone shots but got very lSo ittle relief. On 11/10, I had surgery (micro-discectomy) to remove the part of the disc that was pressing against the nerve and the pain was gone. I have not started PT yet but I am optimistic that the problem is resolved. At least that one is.
The mental/emotional one is more perplexing to me. My relationship with food is frustrating me. Because I have one now. I need to kick food to the curb and move on. Why am I an emotional eater again? I believe it's two-fold. When I am unable to exercise, I do not have a way to channel pent up anxiety and it festers inside. Exercise is an excellent way to burn extra calories but it also became a way for me to channel my frustrations in a positive way. Instead of sitting on the sofa for an hour eating chips, I would sit on my exercise bike and sweat it out. It's like re-directing that energy for good instead of evil. The other thing that I think is going on with me has to do with the anti-depression meds I have been taking. If I looked at my weight charts on FitDay.com, I can draw a distinct correlation between weight gain and/or struggle with when I started taking them. It's like I've lost the internal traffic cop that I used to have. I'm not depressed anymore which is a wonderful thing but... there's a point where I need to figure out a new solution.
Being diagnosed bi-polar after I lost all my weight was a mixed blessing. It explained how I found so much energy, focus and determination to lose 140 lbs in 6 months with my band. Maybe it was a manic thing. I was beyond focussed on what I ate and exercising ever day. Being too obsessed with the scale is not healthy but not caring isn't good either. Finding balance in life is what I want to strive for. I truly believe that healthy behaviors will lead to long term success with WLS. If I can find a healthy mix of measuring portions, planning healthy meals and getting in enough exercise, everything will work itself out. Sure, taking a vitamin everyday, getting in my water, chewing my food and all those other "guidelines" are really important. They have almost become 2nd nature to me. I don't dismiss or minimize them either. For me, the BIG THREE are measured portions, healthy food choices and regular exercise. When I do those things, it's all good.
I see my therapist today. I'm going to talk to her about a gradual reduction from my meds. I really want to get myself back downstairs regularly. I feel like I did after my motorcycle accident-- like I am starting over. Almost re-learning behaviors. In a way, it is a good thing. The real challenge for me is finding the inspiration to live a healthy lifestyle.
I have to go back to some of my notes and review them. Looking at my old photos helps remind me of what life was like as well. There's a point where I start living in denial. Trying to convince myself that I'll start tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is today. I can go downstairs and do 10 minutes on the bike or treadmill. 10 minutes is better than no minutes. I have to take back my life from that cheating, 2 timing, good for nothing so and so FOOD! It is a THING. I cannot allow a THING to have control over my life.
This can be my Christmas gift to myself.
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My worst enemy and best friend is me on August 24, 2010 7:39 am
I saw my therapist yesterday and we talked about my eating. Of course, she and I both feel like there is some emotional connection between the desire to eat and doing it. There are many times when I opt not to. This is especially true when I am actively engaged in a healthy eating/living program. When I weigh myself,, plan healthy meals, exercise reguarly and measure portions, it seems like I stick to my goals more effectively. I have written about Sweat Equity before. This notion that when you put an effort into your weight loss, or even maintaining the loss you've achieved, you are more apt to want to maintain it. It seems like when I put forth a daily effort, to exercise, for example, I start to appreciate just how much time and effort it takes to burn 300 calories. Wasting all that time in a moment of pleasure eating a Snickers bar becomes less attractive. When I don't exercise, these thoughts are not at the top of my thought process. That's not to say people who are cutting calories are not fully aware of their calorie intake levels and are making those choices consciously. I'm just talking about my thought process now.
Trying to become more aware of my true feelings is proving to be a bigger challenge than i thought. I think I go into "health kick" mode and just buckle down and do it for a while. I start tracking my weight and portions and so on. I see the scale move and know I am doing all the things to live a healthy life. Healthy behaviors lead to long term success. However, I have unhealthy desires that keep eeking their way into my thought process. It might be after 6 months, a year or some other time.
I started the whole therapy process to figure out why I wasn't happy after I had lost all the weight I wanted to lose and I think I have been grasping at straws ever since. Defining what my life should look like and what sort of things I want to be doing, is a start. That is the beginning to a Wellness Vision I think. So I will start on that. Spelling out what my vision for Mick is. Not just physically but in other areas too.
I can choose to make 3 healthy eating choices today. I can choose to exercise today and measure my portions. I can do these things whether I want to or not. My goal is to figure out a way to want to for the long term. I need to find that passion I had in the beginning and reinvigorate myself. I think reviewing why I wanted to lose weight in the beginning, remembering what life was like when I was heavy, creating a new set of goals to work toward and then making a structured day that builds toward those goals may be the way to get there.
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Back from Alaska on August 23, 2010 9:11 am
Jack and I took a 7 day cruise to Alaska. It was such a beautiful place but I have to say tempting foods are a real challenge for me. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. I find that I can justify poor decisions too easily. I'm not going to beat myself up over the cruise. It was vacation and I'm back. It's time to get myself focussed on why I want to live a healthy lifestyle, why I wanted to lose my weight and what things I need to do to get and stay at a healthy weight.
I have an appointment with my therapist today. I have sketched out some things to talk about. Mostly, I'm struggling with why I haven't been measuring my portions the last couple months and why I haven't been planning healthy meals. I don't know if it's the stress of getting married my birhtday in May or some bigger underlying issue that I am not dealing with.
Sometimes I feel like I am yo-yoing between periods of healthy living and periods of not-so-healthy living. My goal is to find a balance. If I can't, then I would prefer to eliminate those foods that I cannot moderate. Of course, I say this now. At 10pm, I don't always feel this way.
I write these feelings and issues here because it's my journal. My place to be brutally honest with myself and to try and examine what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and figure out how to live long term with my band. If other people can identify with what I am going through, great. If not, that's fine too. The real goal is for me to have a history of this experience that I can look back on. I'm realizing that I have stopped journaling and, in the process, stopped thinking about this journey... meal planning, exercise and all of the other things that are associated with living with my band. I need to get back to basics and daily rituals that enable me to be successful long term. One of those rituals is journaling. it gives me cause to pause and reflect on my day or week and think about what I'm doing and how it's either helping or hindering my progress on this journey.
So, the vacation is over. Now I need to work on a Wellness Vision for myself. I need to start planning my meals and getting excited about that aspect of my life again. I think I have been caught up in painting and other things with my house that distract me from my real priorities.
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Back from Vermont on July 3, 2010 4:28 am
The wedding was really wonderful. Vermont is such a beautiful state. It's very quaint and the people warm and inviting. I can't believe just how open they were. There's not a big gay population but people there all were very happy for Jack and I and didn't even miss a beat when we said we were there to get married. Instead, they would offer suggestions on restaurants for our wedding dinner or other similar options. It was really quite remarkable.
It was a wonderful trip. Had a great time and returned married. I didn't think it would make such a big impact. Afterall, we've been together 15 years but, there's something significant about saying your vows and exchanging rings. Maybe's the ceremony. It was very cathartic for me.
We're having a Wedding Announcement Party at our house on July 10th for friends, Jack's family and neighbors. I have been working on the house the past 2 weeks to get it ready. So far, I've varnished the front doors and painted two rooms. Nothing like company to light a fire under me!
We are planning a menu for our party that is going to be very vegetarian friendly. More to come.
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