Bare Face, Big Hair, Don’t Care.

I have an obsessive personality. I don’t know how to enjoy things halfheartedly. When it comes to losing weight it’s been fantastic. I’m so obsessed with working out, eating protein and counting carbs that I’ve been more successful that I ever imagined.  But when it comes to the more trivial and materialistic things in life it can be a bit much. Coffee, tea and WWII memorabilia are things I obsess over. But at the top of my list, makeup. Continue reading

Revitalizing My Inner Foodie

One of the hardest parts of this whole lifestyle change has been changing my cooking and baking habits. I’m a girl that loves being in the kitchen. Especially when it comes to baking. Being limited in the amount of calories, and knowing that I need to have 70+ grams a protein a day makes me conscious of every little thing that goes in my mouth, and chances are if it’s not a high protein food I skip it. Which means that for the most part, eating the tasty cookies and cupcakes I’ve been baking has been out of the question.

So recently I’ve been playing around with baking with protein powders. Of course these are not “diet” foods. But when I feel like indulging in something sweet, I can feel a little less guilty knowing that they’re packed with protein.

Which brings me to these yummy cookies. They are soooooo good, they are soft, chewy, not too terrible in the carb aspect and have 8 grams of protein each.

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Weight Loss and Self-esteem, the Legend.

I like to keep myself well-informed about the ideologies within the weight loss community and their different sects. I’ve liked to keep myself well-informed long before I made the choice to lose weight. Immersing myself in different articles, blogs and documentaries I’ve always found one recurring theme, people who have lost tremendous amounts of weight claim to have found their long-lost self-esteem. They rave about how they now carry themselves differently, that their perception of who they are has changed completely. I feel the exact opposite, and it makes me wonder, am I the exception to the rule or am I one of the few who is willing to admit that they are more unsure of who they are now than ever before?

Who wouldn’t feel different? 100 pounds is a hell of a lot of weight to lose in 5 months. That’s the size of a baby hippopotamus (seriously, I googled). For every change that I notice physically there are just as many that I’m oblivious too. When I do become aware of a change I become even more concerned with if the change is noticeable to other people, if they approve, and most importantly if I look strange. I know that my close friends must be so frustrated with my interrogations, “Do I look weird?”, “Does my face look like a muppet?”, “Do my legs look too scrawny?”. I was never this outwardly insecure until now. I feel like I need more reassurance. Skyping with my 7-year-old cousin and needing him to tell me I don’t look strange is a regular occurrence these days. My favorite part is that his response this last time was that I didn’t look weird but I looked like I needed a shower.

So when does this new-found self-esteem kick in? At what point to I stop feeling uncomfortable in my own skin? Will I ever feel comfortable in my own skin? These are the questions I’m struggling with these days. I’m sure that part of me thought that I would be like these weight lost poster children who lose a fuck-ton of weight and then are miraculously these happy, shiny people who like to run 5k’s. That’s not me. I still feel like I’m 300+ lbs. My mind hasn’t caught up with my body yet.

Vegas, a fat girl’s dream.

Oh Las Vegas.

I have a love hate relationship with this place. It really is the city of sin, and it took all of my willpower not to give in a few weekends ago. By fluke I managed to have a three day weekend and decided to tag along with my friend Nhi and her friend Kerri on a weekend trip to Vegas. This was my first real trip post-op, and it was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.

First of all, I am a much cheaper drunk than I ever remember being. Our first stop on our Vegas adventure was a favourite restaurant of ours, http://www.fireflylv.com/ which is an amazing tapas place that serves the most amazing bacon wrapped dates filled with goats cheese and walnuts, topped in a balsamic reduction. In a word, it’s orgasmic. We get there, and between the three of us ordered 2 pitchers of sangria. Typically I can down an entire pitcher of the stuff by myself, but this was my first really attempt at getting drunk since the surgery. Half of a glass in and I was a mess, drunk texting, drunk dialing, and just being ridiculous in general. We ended up on Fremont Street that night, and a good time, encountered a place called “The D”….. I know all about the D.

The rest of the trip was filled with drunken Margaritaville antics and walking up and down the strip. Oh and on the day I flew home I turned 27 and had a bit of a mental breakdown about it. But aside from that I had a good time, ate like crap, walked a ton and still managed to lose 2 pounds over the course of that weekend. No complaints.

The challenges of this short but sweet trip were that I tried so hard to eat on this trip like I normally would, but I just couldn’t do it. We went to the Cheesecake Factory, I ordered a burger and ate a quarter of it, felt uncomfortably full for a solid hour or two, and threw out the left overs because I couldn’t be bothered to carry them around with me all day. Then I went to the candy store called Sugar and bought tons of salt water taffy, which I’m still working on. It’s a struggle to try to enjoy everything with all of the restrictions. In the end, it’s a waste of money for me to try to eat like a normal person, so being as cheap as I am, I’m not going to even bother trying.

Soon to come, my fears and issues with becoming 27.

This is What 90 Looks Like

Most people would celebrate once they’ve lost 100 pounds. But I’m celebrating at 90. Why? Because I’m fucking stoked, that’s why. I never thought that I’d ever see the day that I would have been able to say with 100% confidence that I have officially lost 90 pounds.

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I am beyond proud of myself, and I physically feel amazing. The next step is reconciling in my mind that I’m not the same person.

I Guess I Take After My Mother…

Lonely nights are the worst.  Lonely nights are made even worse by listening to Dallas Green. I’ve always been the type of person to have really emotional reactions to songs. I can recall nights where I haven’t slept because I listen to the same song over and over again.

tumblr_m7a1hod8Eg1rqrbrao1_400This song, I could listen to it all night. I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents lately. For a lot of reasons I suppose. Part of it is examining my own dysfunction, why I’m the way I am. Another part is worrying about carrying on a fucked up maternal legacy. All my life I have fought against being like my parents in one way or anther. When I was younger my impression of my Dad was this stern, immigrant authoritarian. There was a time in my life that I thought I hated him. Part of it was my youthful rebellion I’m sure, and part of it was that we just didn’t understand each other. As I’ve grown up and now that he sees me as an adult rather than a petulant child we’re cool. I can talk to him about nearly anything and I know he’s always willing to help in out of a bind. Our relationship is uncomplicated now. Nothing but love, and no matter how many times I fuck up I know I’ll always have his support.

Then there is my Mom. It’s been nearly 3 years since we’ve spoken to each other. You could say I have mommy issues. The way she has raised me has me so fearful that I would make a terrible mother. Her mom was awful, and she is awful, and I feel like I may be doomed to repeat their failures. There is this notion that mothers have this unconditional love for their children, that somehow the birth of a child changes their being. That didn’t happen with my Mom. She had me simply as a way to trap a man who was cheating on her, and clearly no longer in love with her, and admittedly had my sister for the same reason. My mom was never the kind of person to give her affection freely, it was only doled out when it suited her. I don’t know if her maternal shortcomings are all her fault, part of me knows that there is some sort of chemical imbalance going on. This is a woman who could work 7 day stretches as an RN but lay in bed all evening, not concerned that her children hadn’t eaten. I remember being so broke in University, and pretty much begging her to buy a textbook for me and her telling me no, but having no problem bragging to her friends about my academic accomplishments as though she had some hand in it.

And I wonder, was it because she didn’t have a good mother? How much of this is hereditary? Is she incapable of putting another person before herself because my Grandmother couldn’t do that for her? It scares me. Having kids is the only thing in life I’ve ever been 100% certain about. But I worry that I’m going to be a shitty mom, that I won’t be able to be selfless. Can someone who didn’t have enough mothering be a good mother? I mean, it’s not like I didn’t have loving women in my life, I had my Grandma Juliana, my aunts on my Dad’s side who have all doted on me my entire life. Is their influence enough to erase 26 years of dysfunction that my Mom has caused?

My main reason for wanting to have the surgery is because I wanted to become as healthy as possible before having kids. I didn’t want to be obese, developing gestational diabetes and giving birth to some 10 pound baby. But now I worry more about being a shitty mom, and in that case should I even have children? And as much as I try to deny it, I there are characteristic of my Mom that I sometimes see in myself. Usually it’ll be in phrases I say or words I use. I catch it and it scares me. I feel like maybe there is more of her in me that I’d like to admit, and if there are those latent characteristics, maybe more will emerge when I have kids. So many of my insecurities stem from her. I’ll never think that I’m good enough and I will always second guess myself. I hate that about myself. I hate that I have to seek approval from other people because I never felt it from her.

I think about reaching out to her from time to time. But she refuses to ever accept any responsibility for anything… ever. She is the consummate victim. I try not to think about her, to put her out of my mind as often as possible. Especially after this summer when she accused me of vandalism (apparently I picked up a boulder and put it in her driveway, 7 days post-op no less). Lately though these thoughts have become more and more prevalent.

Ugh.

Meet Me Halfway

I’ve been awol.

Being unemployed really took the wind out of my sails (among other things), and I just didn’t feel like expressing any of my feelings because they were almost all negative.  But now I’m in a better head space. I have good people around me, one in particular who continues to be continually positive, even when I don’t necessarily deserve it.

So here I am, nearly 4 months post op. 84 pounds of weight that I’ll never see again.  66 pounds until I’ve met my ultimate goal. The thought is crazy. If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought I’d be 84 pounds lighter I would have called you a liar. But here I am. I would have been a freshman in high school the last time I was this weight.

Aside from feeling lighter, there are so many physical aspects that I’m starting to notice.

  • I can run in kickboxing, and keep up in general
  • I can cross my legs with ease
  • When I’m stretching I can bring my knees up to my chest
  • Every single piece of clothing I own is loose
  • Even my shoes are loose
  • I have visible collar bones
  • *TMI* I can be on top during sex and not feel self conscious

Of course there are a few downsides;

  • I’m losing insane amounts of hair (I knew this would happen and I’m dealing with it the best way I can)
  • I have no tits or ass anymore (they were the first things to go)
  • I am lacking iron, so I have massive under eye circles
  • Since all of my clothes are loose everything looks kind of sloppy, but I refuse to buy a ton of new clothes until I’m where I’ll be maintaining.

I just want to touch on the hair loss for a minute. The hair loss business has been really hard for me. This is probably because I’m a girl that had jungle hair. I had an abundance of thick, coarse, curly hair. It has thinned out like crazy, and I was getting to the point where after a shower I would have to inspect my scalp because the handfuls that were coming out in the shower were outrageous.  My doctor explained that this would be temporary, that it’s very common starting between month 3-4. So I’ve done what I can do to deal with it. I’ve cut a solid 6 inches off (it was nearly waist length), I’ve made sure I’m taking enough zinc and biotin, and I’ve started using Nioxin. Having worked in the beauty industry before I know that Nioxin doesn’t make your hair grow. People have this misconception that they can use it and all of a sudden they’ll have beautiful, lush hair. That’s not the case. What it does it removes all of the gunk on your scalp and creates an optimal environment for your hair to grow. So for someone like me it’s perfect, but if you’re bald it’s not gonna make your hair come back. It’s a three step system and I seriously recommend it.

nioxin

But to be quite honest, the hair loss and the changes are completely worth the energy I feel, and the longer life I know I’m going to have because of it. I’m half way there and excited for the rest of this challenge.

 

Perception vs. Reality

I am two months and five days post op today.

I am 71 pounds down from my highest weight.

I am 51 pounds down from my surgery day weight.

But I still feel like a fat girl.

I am constantly hearing people tell me how different I look, how much weight they’ve noticed I’ve lost, how “healthy” I’m looking. My clothes are baggy and sloppy looking, I can cross my legs with ease, I can sit on the sky train without feeling self conscious that I’m spilling into the seat of the person next to me. But despite all of this when I stand in the mirror and look at my body, I don’t see anything different. Especially in my face. I feel like my face is as chubby and puffy as ever.

I worry that I won’t be able to ever feel thinner. The feeling of being smaller is escaping me. I have a friend who lost a tremendous amount of weight on her own over the past few years. She has been a huge supporter of my quest to lose weight, she told me before, and she has reassured me since that I won’t see it when I look in the mirror. That my brain isn’t going to be capable of understanding that I’ve lost this weight.

So for now I have to focus on the small things. I’m focusing on the fact that the men in my life are paying attention to me in a way that they probably would not have pre-surgery. I have to focus on the fact that I have no pants that fit so I have to stick to wearing tights. I have to focus on the fact that I quit a job last week that I’ve hated for months, but didn’t quit because my self-worth was so low that I didn’t think I deserved any better. I’m unemployed with no prospects, but I’m healthy and I’m happy.

I have to continually remind myself that my perception is not reality. My thinking is warped from years of being obese. I’ve trained my body to act differently, now it’s time to start training my mind.

Slimies, the Horror, the Horror.

It’s been an interesting few weeks. Ups and downs in all aspects of my life. My work life has been unsatisfying and stressful and I’m starting to look at different avenues. Weight is still coming off. And my love life is as boring as ever. I’ve decided that this shirt perfectly explains my current situation (minus the Oreos, you could replace that with protein shakes).

 

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And then, it happened. I’ve heard, and been terrified of the “slimies” or “slime”. For anyone with a weak stomach I suggest you stop reading here.

Post-Vsg some people experience slimies or foamies. When you overeat or eat too quickly you get a really tight feeling in your chest. It’s almost like a brick. This is then followed by a feeling like you’re going to burp or vomit. When you do, instead of your typical bile-type vomit, a large mucus/spit/slime wad comes up with whatever you’ve eaten.

This happened to me. Twice. Both from eating too fast. The first time was a handful of almonds. I ate fast and all of a sudden I needed to get it out, but when I did… SLIME! I was horrified. The second time was last night. I had a movie night with my friend Breanne and I had drank and eaten way too close together, and as soon as she was out the door I was in the washroom sliming away.

Have I learned my lesson? Yes. Chew, chew, chew, slowly. Take my time. Quite frankly I’m not enjoying eating anyways so the best thing to do is behave myself and not try to do too much to fast. Part of my problem is that I’m trying to eat solid foods like my doctor wants me to, but everyone is different, and at this point I’m much more comfortable drinking my nutrition. I know this isn’t a solution long term but I’m not getting in the nutrients I need from just eating and sliming up the solids I eat.

Single and Beyond Ready to Mingle

Summer is in full swing in Vancouver. Going through a little bit of a heat wave here (which isn’t really a heat wave, but by Vancouver standards it’s the same as the tropics). The weight is falling off. I’m down a total of 45.2 pounds from my highest weight. I had a little bit of a stall the third week out, but I’ve heard it is pretty common so I didn’t stress.

Since I’ve been single I haven’t focused much on my love life. I’ve been so focused on prepping for my VSG and then recouping from it that being in a relationship has been the furthest thing from my mind. But now that I’m home and back into the daily grind of life, I find myself longing for a relationship, for someone to come home to and spill my guts to and cuddle with. I have these moments of weakness where it’s all I can think about. But I know right now it’s the last thing I need. I need to focus on myself and I can’t let someone else be the focus of my life.

I need to keep telling myself that for once my health has to be at the forefront.

So in an attempt to keep me busy and amp up the weight loss I’ve signed up for kickboxing that my cousin Mark is teaching in the fall, and I’ve got a consultation with a personal trainer. My boss has been seeing this trainer for a few months, and she was really pumped about my surgery and has put me in contact with her. I’m making the right decisions for me. That is the key right now. I can’t be with someone until I’m happy with myself and although weight isn’t everything, it’s a huge factor. I need to get to the point where I feel 100% comfortable in my skin again. Once that happens I feel like I’ll be in a better position to let someone into my life again. But until then I’ll just keep working at it.