Day 61

My ex used to joke with me when we were still together. His first language is Spanish, so when he was leaving the house, instead of saying “hasta luego,” (which means “see you later”) he would say “hasta nunca.” (which means “see you never”)

 

Which of course eventually ended up being true.

Anyhoozlebees….

Yesterday I was thinking about the things that come with being obese, and those are, consequently, the things I cannot wait to say goodbye to once I reach a healthy weight.

So here is the list of things, in no particular order, to which I cannot wait to say “hasta nunca!”:

  • Stretching out my t-shirts over my knees
  • The swooshing sound my thighs make when they rub together
  • Constantly pulling my shirt down and my pants up to mask fat rolls
  • Performing contortionist moves to shower
  • Pulling my children in front of me for photographs
  • Ordering an extra drink in the drive-thru so it doesn’t look like all the food I just ordered is for only me
  • Having an “X” or “W” after the numbers on my clothing tags
  • Back boobies
  • Elastic waistbanded pants
  • Shopping in the men’s shoe section
  • Heinously ugly and floral-printed clothing (apparently overweight people need to have even more attention called to themselves)
  • Double chins
  • Sausage-esque fingers
  • Being scared I won’t fit in stadium seating
  • Lying and saying that I’m scared of roller coasters
  • Lane Bryant
  • Rearranging my clothing when I sit down 
  • Having my shoes tied on the side instead of in the middle
  • Avoiding aluminum lawn chairs
  • Hideous swimsuits with skirts
  • The way my arm flab keeps waving goodbye long after I have finished waving goodbye
  • The little red bumps on my quads
  • Sweating when I’m not working out
  • Sweating when the humidity is high
  • Sweating when a hot guy is talking to me
  • Sweating
  • Sweating
  • Sweating
  • The way my gut rests on my quads when I sit down
  • Seatbelt extenders on airplanes
  • Towels that don’t wrap all the way around

Add your hasta nuncas to the comment section below!

Day 44

Now that my journey is extremely public, I am having to deal with some backlash from people who don’t agree with bariatric surgery.

Most of my commenters, messagers and supporters have been so positive.

But there are a few naysayers. And again, that’s okay.

I received a message over the weekend. I have read it no less than 1 meelion times. I can’t help it. I have this obsessive need to understand why a person isn’t happy with me, and then try to fix it. This is a person I knew years ago, but haven’t spoken to since. So it isn’t a stranger.

Here is what the message said:

Angie, I saw your page in my Facebook feed. I have to admit I was really surprised that you had the weight loss surgery. Why did you change your mind? We spent so much time in the gym and you were doing great. I am just wondering why would you quit and give up when you said this was something you would never do?

And here is my response:

Oh my dear friend, I have missed talking with you. But there is something you need to understand.

Back then, I hadn’t dealt with my eating disorder. I was going to the gym and the Weight Watchers meetings, but I was still binge-eating sometimes late at night. That is why I couldn’t get my weight under 250. Binge-eating is how I chose to deal with the stressful and emotional things that were going on in my life at the time.

It has taken me years to get my head right to the point that I could recover from the eating disorder, and now I have the enormous task of unloading a 180+ pound burden from my frame.

After researching all of my options, and trying several of them, I started to lean toward having a surgical procedure called a roux-en-y gastric bypass. This is a procedure that forces the pounds off, at a rate that keeps motivation up and self-deprecating down.

One problem. I just couldn’t bring myself to actually do it.

At the beginning of the summer this year, I went on a beach vacation with my family. At the end of every day, my feet hurt so badly, all I could do was cry.

I decided before we even left the island that I was going to come home and schedule the procedure.

And I am so glad I did.

This year after much therapy, I finally came to the fork in the road, and for a change, instead of using the fork to stuff myself I used it to choose the right path for me.

I don’t know if you still struggle with your weight as I have, but I do have to wonder if you’re asking me these questions because you’re truly disappointed in my decision, or if you are considering having the procedure done yourself. I hope that you can consider that accepting surgery as a tool is not failure.

Staying obese would be failure.

Living in a broken body that can’t walk would be failure.

Enslaving myself to an eating disorder for the rest of my life would be failure.

Finding a way, accepting help, and leaving this unhealthy vessel is the ultimate victory, regardless of how that transpires.

I think it is true that we have to pick our battles. This time the battle that I picked was ME.

_________________________

Today at my 6 week post-op appointment, down 36 pounds!:

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Day 44

Day 44.
My six week follow up appointment was this morning. Down 36 pounds in 6 weeks! Blood pressure down to 120/76 with no medication.
Try to ignore the Irkel pants, they are a bit too big.

6 weeks

 

 

Day 38

Day 38.
Weight gain can be a surreal thing.
Watching your body betray you as it morphs into someone you no longer recognize can make you feel like you’ve been Stephen Kinged…staring into the mirror at a foreign reflection.
(What is wrong with this mirror? That isn’t me. That CAN’T be me.)
And it starts to do things to your head.
The more weight I gained, the more I lost myself. Where did Angie go? Since I couldn’t see her, maybe she really wasn’t there anymore.
I stopped wearing bright colors. I didn’t wear as many hats or nearly as much jewelry. And consequently it affected the way I felt about the person I presented to the world. In short, I stopped being sassy.
And when I stop being sassy, I stop being ME.
So yes, I did cry a little when I saw this photo of me, taken this morning.

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This is how I remember Angie.
Happy, goofy, wild haired, and glowing.
Don’t give up on your dreams for yourself. And don’t let anyone else tell you how to get there.

__________

Friday night dinner. Pan-seared bay scallops marinated in chimichurri sauce, roasted asparagus with goat cheese, and a smidge of avocado.

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This was actually too much food. I could only eat one of the scallops, two of the asparagus, and about half of that piece of avocado.

But I gotta tell ya, I love making foodie type meals. And since I eat so little, I can afford to.

I paid $3.97 for a quarter-pound of bay scallops at Whole Foods. Since I could only eat one scallop, that quarter-pound will last me EIGHT meals. I also bought just over a pound of wild-caught salmon. I cut the salmon into FOURTEEN portions.

I put all the scallops and salmon portions into a gallon ziploc bag, and added my marinade. For this marinade, I went lazy. I bought a bottle of Chimichurri sauce from the Whole Foods “fish fridge,” and dumped the whole thing into the gallon Ziploc bag. Chimichurri sauce has zero sugar. And it goes great with any kind of seafood.

I let the seafood marinate for about 4 hours, then I heated a tiny bit of coconut oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, and then dropped in my 2 scallops. I seared them for 2 minutes on each side, and they were done. Scallops cook very quickly.

For the asparagus, I tossed them with a bit of melted coconut oil, about a tablespoon of shredded Danish goat cheese, and some pink sea salt and ground black pepper. I roasted the asparagus in the oven for about 10 minutes.

I think it is important to eat foodie-type meals. The few bites I eat as a bariatric patient need to be highly nutritious and very delicious. This way I will enjoy my food and savor it. I am not part of the boiled chicken and canned green beans camp.

I want to take a little extra time to make sure my food is prepared well and has excellent flavor.

The bonus to eating approximately 2 ounces of food at a time, is that now I can afford things like wild caught salmon. That piece of salmon was $26. And normally I would have eaten that at one sitting. Now that $26 piece of fish is going to last 14 meals.

So I took the rest of the marinated seafood, and put each piece in a separate Ziploc, and tossed it in the freezer.

Frozen fish that is already marinated? Yes please.

This will make dinner easy on those nights when I am too tired to cook. I’ll just toss a little piece of salmon into the steamer or onto the grill, and I’m golden.

What ideas do you have to simplify bariatric eating? What money-saving ideas do you have?

 

Day 36

Day 36.
I just put my piggies on the floor…and guess what?
No pain.
No aching joints. No shooting nerve pain. No wincing.
Starting my day off with no foot pain brings a different kind of tears to my eyes.
Tears of joy. And relief.
I walked 3 times yesterday. Over 6,000 steps. Just short of 3 miles.
Just over a month ago it hurt to walk 3 steps.
Those of you who are struggling with obesity, lost in pain or an eating disorder, and suffering in silence, I’m gonna need you to listen up.
Tune out the naysayers. Follow your path. The one YOU choose for yourself. Your journey doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.
Stop beating yourself up and accept the help that is available to you. And if you need guidance, just ask me. There are resources available to you.
You don’t have to spend the rest of your life binge eating and living in an unhealthy body.
There are options.
It’s going to be hard. But I have to believe that it’s going to be worth it.
Never give up.

__________

I have to tell you that a month ago I was about as hopeless as they come. My body hurt all the time. I felt hungry constantly. I was so hard on myself that I had already decided that even weight loss surgery wouldn’t work for me.

This is ludicrous thinking, because I work in a bariatric center so I see how much this procedure helps people…every single day.

But when your mind is sick, that’s what happens.

You can tell yourself lies that no one else would ever believe.

As of today, I’ve lost 33 pounds.

When a month ago I doubted that I could even lose weight anymore.

There is hope.

Reach out and take it.

__________

People will always be talking.

They run their mouths when you’re struggling with obesity. They run their mouths when you’re going to the gym. They run their mouths when you reach your goal weight and feel good about yourself.

That much is never, ever going to change.

So just decide right now that their opinions and ideas are really none of your concern.

Make your choice. If you know you need therapy for binge eating, seek it. If you know you need to walk more and you can physically do it, go on. Do it. You don’t need to go to the gym or lift weights. Just move your butt, if you can. If you know in your heart that you’re interested in bariatric surgery, research it. Go to a free informational seminar. There is no commitment. Just go and listen. Find out the options that are available to you. The more you know, the more informed you are, the decisions you make will be that much better.

Stop basing your decisions and your self worth on other people’s ideas and opinions. You’ve likely done it your whole life. It’s time to stop and do what is best for you. Make the choice that is going to help you live your best life.

__________

Martyrdom is so old testament.

It’s a brand new day.

Start seeking the brand new you.

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