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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
I am two weeks and two days post op. Full liquids. I’ve been to two BBQ’s and one huge family dinner. I survived and lived to tell the tale of head hunger.
I’ve heard people refer to it often, but I don’t think I really understood the concept until now. Since surgery I haven’t felt real hunger. No tummy grumbling, no real weakness or low blood sugar. None of the things that make me feel famished. But being around amazing smelling Filipino food constantly has triggered this feeling in me. I caught myself dipping my finger in the different sauces just to taste the taste. Although I’ve broken free from carbs, seeing a nice slab of my cousin’s 18th birthday cake had me drooling. But I knew I wasn’t hungry. It was all in my head, and it’s still all in my head. I find myself having pep talks in my head. I have to tell myself to take time to listen to my stomach. It’s full and there isn’t any room for more. I let it sink in and I move on.
I know that despite having had my VSG that I will always have to battle with food. But taking time to stop and listen to my new stomach is the key for me. I need to listen to what it’s saying.
Aside from that I’m in Winnipeg, my hometown for a little vacation. My cousin is graduating from high school and I promised I’d be here for her commencement. I’m here for a total of two weeks and I don’t have a reliable scale so I haven’t been able to keep up with my scale Nazi tendencies. Which I think is for the best because I was weighing myself twice a day. For now my success is measured in the amount of sag I’m now sporting in my tights. It looks like I took a dump in my pants, no lie. But I’ll take it as a victory!
Parents have a funny way of explaining things to children. When I was a kid my Mom would always explain things in sleeps or Simpsons. I’ll explain;
“How many days until Christmas?”
“Five more sleeps.”
“How long does it take to drive there?”
“Eight episodes of the Simpsons.”
I had a huge obsession with watching the Simpsons and everything was easily explained to me in those half hour segments. I’m 19 sleeps away from surgery. I’m starting to get more and more anxious about it and all of the what-ifs have started to creep into my thoughts. What if it doesn’t work? What if there are complications? What if I die? I keep talking myself out of these thoughts but I do know that these things could happen. What makes me so special that they won’t happen to me? I don’t know that they won’t but I’ve got to keep positive and hope that they don’t. The one thing that I still have is a fucktonne of hope.
I’m immersing myself completely in different people’s stories, youtube videos and accounts of their surgeries. It’s amazing to see different transformations. But, I’m also indulging myself. Next week I have to begin my pre-op diet. So I’m indulging now. Steak and wine. Copious amounts of both. I know… not necessarily “good” for me, but I know these are the things I’ll be craving post-op. One of my good friends is flying out in a few weeks. We are definitely food buddies. We both have a love for all things tasty, and it’s going to be so difficult for me to not participate in the yumminess. But giving up a little bit for a lifetime of health and happiness is worth it… I hope.
Wanderlust [ˈwɒndəˌlʌst]n a great desire to travel and rove about
This has always been me. I’ve always had a passport that is valid, ready for the next adventure. As I retired my old passport, full of stamps from across the world, and picked up my new one I had this weird sense of excitement. A new passport with 24 empty pages waiting to be filled with stamps for all of my new adventures.
I’m curious to know what it’s going to be like to travel without being so conscious of my size. I find that when I travel I try to draw as little attention to myself as possible. In North America being overweight is not out of the ordinary. So when I walk around I don’t feel self conscious because I know that I’m one of many overweight people walking around my neighborhood. But when I’m somewhere like Spain for example, I know I stick out like a sore thumb, so I do my best to be as incognito as possible. It’s places like this that I’m most excited to visit again once I’m healthy and in shape. I always feel this way when I visit the Philippines, aka the Father Land.
One thing about Asia that may be a stereotype to some, but a reality to me is that everyone is tiny. Even the fatties are tiny by western standards. I come from a family where being 5’7″ make me a giant. And weighing more than 100 pounds soaking wet is a shocker. So when I travel to the Philippines and I step foot on the soil of my ancestors, I feel automatically out of place. I’m the ultimate antithesis to everything that is Filipino. I’m half white so that’s already one strike against me. My complexion is what they call “puti”. A word I hear often when I’m there. I’m tall, which is noticeable, but even more noticeable when I’m walking alongside my 4’8″ grandma and 5’4″ father. I have thick curly hair, which people seem to like to touch and remark about; this is also something I’ve been bitter about my entire life. Straight black Asian hair just wasn’t in the cards for me. To top it all off I’m big, not just “mataba” as the locals would say. But I am gigantic in their standards.
When I’m in the Philippines people are curious about me. They aren’t out and out rude, but they want to see me, this big, tall, pale skinned curly haired girl. I’d like to visit and just fit in. Fly under the radar. I want to know what it’s like to travel like a local.
The wanderlust in me is building.