Day 216

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What do I do the day after I share the rawest post of my journey?
I get up and do 20 minutes on the elliptical, drink 32 ounces of water, and make a protein shake.
With a whopping 42 grams of protein:
1 cup fresh mixed berries
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1- 11 oz container of vanilla Premier Protein
Handful of romaine lettuce leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 pumps sugar free raspberry syrup
Purée on high in the Vitamix for 60 seconds. Voila!
You may think I’m a freak for putting cottage cheese in a smoothie, but it is GOOD. It gives it a milkshake quality, and kicks up the protein. Just be sure to blend it SMOOTH.
This is also a great way to sneak in greens! Take it easy though, you don’t want a smoothie that tastes like soaked lawn clippings…
Happy Monday! Cheers!

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Day 215

Writing is hard.

Not the actual writing per se, that part is actually pretty easy for me.

Writing brings clarity, healing, self-acceptance.

But sharing?

It’s the sharing that hurts.

Oye.

That brings scrutiny, judgement, and a raw vulnerability that I can’t always handle.

When something is happening to me, especially when it is painful, I try my damnedest to find the lesson. I enjoy sharing my lessons, humorously if possible, so that others may learn from my hard-knocks. Sometimes these lessons involve other people. And unfortunately, other people do not always appreciate having the details of their lives thrust into the public eye.

I have pretty much always been an open book. Not everyone agrees with it. In fact, it brought incredible chagrin to my paternal grandmother. She was constantly telling me, “The whole world doesn’t need to know your business!”

Well, I’m sure they don’t. And moreover, they likely don’t care nearly as much as I think they do.

But for me there’s freedom in being okay with the “whole world” knowing my business.

Because then it’s more about being authentic and less about being impressive.

If I’m going to rally support for my autistic son or… bust my butt to lose 150 pounds or… pour myself into reconciling my children with their long-estranged father…I’m not only going to do those things. I’m going to write about them.

Because that’s how I figure things out.

The tricky part comes when said writing causes pain or embarrassment to the people involved in my journey. Just because I’m an open book doesn’t mean everyone is.

So I have to learn to write what heals me, filter it through that person-specific sieve, and then share the strained remnants with you.

Consequently, there are things that get caught in that sieve that I really would rather have openly shared.

Today you are going to get the contents of the sieve.

Within the past couple of weeks I have learned a hard and painful lesson that I am trying to work through: After decades and decades of yo-yo dieting, self-deprecation, and unbelievable amounts of frustration, I discovered (or possibly re-discovered) two things:

  1. I am an addict, by nature.
  2. And I am actually much more comfortable being fat. (It’s a turtle shell of sorts. A place to retreat when there is fear or pain or danger.)

I am currently near the weight that I always reach when dieting, and then just stop losing. I thought I could remedy that by staying off the scale, and just not seeing those numbers.

But that’s not working either. Because duh, I have mirrors.

I can plainly see myself shrinking.

So recently when I started experiencing the fear and anxiety of a thinner body, since it is now physically impossible to binge-eat, I picked up a bottle of wine to deal with my mounting emotions.

And my stomach pouch tolerated it just fine.

So I drank a larger glass. Then soon, two glasses.

And before I knew it, almost a month had passed… and I had a problem.

This is common with bariatric patients.

It’s called addiction transfer.

Am I supposed to be drinking? Hell no. Bariatric surgeons and psychologists recommend not drinking any alcohol at all for at least a year after surgery. But when you are an addict, all the advice in the world just falls softly on some seriously deaf ears….

and you do what you have to do to drown the pain and the fear and the anxiety.

Think you’re above it? So did I. Hell, I worked in bariatrics for 3 years.

Once I recognized it though, I had a choice.

Wallow in it. Or solve it.

The new Angie chooses to solve it.

I didn’t have this surgical procedure just to become a friggin alcoholic.

So the solution here is this:

  • Bring the addiction into the light.
  • Surround myself with community to be held accountable.
  • Stop the addiction cold in it’s tracks.

Period.

Point blank.

The end.

Everybody makes mistakes. I am no exception. And neither are you.

It’s human nature to hide our flaws. We all want to be the hero.

Of course I want to be the glowing, perfect, unicorn-riding goddess with all the solutions and answers. I want to inspire you. And impress you. And post pictures of my perfect, veggie-laden plate on Instagram while I’m wearing a black bikini in my perfectly sculpted bod.

But my friends, that ain’t reality.

Reality is that I’m broken and fucked up and just trying to find my way like everyone else.

Yes, I lost my way for a moment. But I’ve grown because this time I caught myself.

So let that inspire you. Be encouraged that we are all broken in our own ways, and we will continue to stumble and fall down 1,001 times.

The victory is in getting up 1,002.

I will do this. And so can you.

Regardless of what you are attempting to master, remember any progress is improvement. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just do better.

Remember what I always say:

collage

 

Day 208

sis

I love this photo. It makes me happy.
My sister and I have always been besties, (well, almost always) and the past 7 months have been no exception.
She has been my best support since surgery, and my toughest accountability partner.
She checks in on me, encourages me, challenges me.
She calls to see if I’m drinking. She texts to make sure I’m moving my butt and staying hydrated.
Everyone needs a Carrie. And you can’t have mine! Get your own. 😂
In other news…I’m happy to report that my BMI is finally under 40!
Translation: I am no longer classified as morbidly obese.
Translation: I would not qualify for weight-loss surgery if I applied for it at this weight. (Let that sink in!)
Translation: I can purchase life insurance.
Translation: Health and happiness truly is found in the journey and not at a magical perfect number on the scale.
Goals are good. Obsession is not!

Day 205

meijer

I have some really challenging mental battles going on right now. (And this, after two years of therapy.)
I am not ready to open this can of worms up fully and publicly….but I will share this:
I went to the store this morning with cruel intentions.
Peanut M&M’s.
Wine.
Chili cheese Fritos.
Luckily, the voice of my friend and dietitian Stephanie Yeadon took over, and I left with the items in this photo instead.
I am more sure every day that morbid obesity is merely a symptom of a mental disorder.
There I said it.
What you see on the outside is merely an outward consequence of what’s going on in my head.
Fear.
Anxiety.
Self-deprecation.
But I changed the size of my stomach, and hence my ability to binge eat last July when I had weight-loss surgery.
But no surgery in the world can remove the demons in my head.
I can still make poor choices. I can drink alcohol. I can eat small amounts of crap food instead of food that is nutritious.
Switching from food to alcohol has a name. It’s called addiction transfer.
I admit it. I was going to purchase that wine for my Friday night after work.
But as I passed the heirloom tomatoes I thought of my friend Stephanie and how many times she brought me those tiny tomatoes from her garden during the summer months.
And right then I stopped myself. And made a better choice.
Still think weight-loss surgery is going to cure all your problems and make you skinny forever?
Think again.

shoes

Unexpected weight-loss bonus:
My feet have shrunk 1 full size. What the? I have no explanation but with already canoe-like feet, I’ll take it.
New $24 pleather slip-ons?
Yes please!

Day 191

change

Yep. I’m still here.
I had a colleague snap a few shots of me yesterday because, well…inquiring minds want to know.
How am I doing?
Truth be told…I’m struggling.
But not with eating right. Or moving.
This battle is with my mind. My emotions.
Living in an obese body can be like hiding from the world…in plain sight.
The world treats overweight people differently. There is an unspoken racism against fat.
Moreover, you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it.
Some people just aren’t as friendly. Some look down at the ground and refuse to make eye contact. Others tend to be condescending. Strangers aren’t as likely to say ‘good morning’ or hold open the door.
So what happens when the weight comes off and there’s no where to hide anymore?
Attention. Warmth. Openness.
And for me that is causing unexpected anxiety. And honestly…some hurt as well.
It’s a wonderful thing to make eye contact with a handsome stranger, have him say hello, hold the door, and engage in conversation.
But it’s also painful to realize that this never once happened 100 pounds ago.
It’s painful to realize that the world wasn’t engaging with me…and I was okay with that.
It’s painful to realize that the human condition is to love what is lovely. I’m guilty of it, too. We gravitate to what pleases the eye.
Now I have a choice. I can get ragey and emotional and start blame-casting, and hole up with a vat of chips and cheese again until I’m sick.
Or I can accept the flawed world for what it is. Forgive them. Forgive ME. And keep going.
I choose the latter.
You have a choice, too. You can look away, look down, or drop the door on that seemingly unlovely or portly individual.
Or you can treat that person with the same enthusiasm you would have for Channing Tatum.
With less screaming and panty throwing, of course.
Here’s to making goals and reaching them. Onward and downward. xoxo