I was originally going to update my weight every week. Ha! This time around it wasn’t my decision to procrastinate and not update, it’s a matter of my attitude getting me into trouble the last time I was weighed at my doctor’s office. I was warned about getting “number obsessed” in the beginning, due to the fact that I’ve had a serious eating disorder in the past, and if we’re being completely truthful, no one gets to be as big as I do, without still having disordered thoughts about food. You simply don’t let yourself get so huge, ugly, and in such poor shape without there being deeply-seated psychological issues. So, the last time I was weighed, I got kind of mouthy with the nurse. I was upset that the number wasn’t larger and wanted my doctor to take me off of Prednisone altogether. While only a maintenance dosage, I think it’s interfering with my weight loss. I know, that medical degree I got from Google University really comes in handy at times. NOT! Long story short, all involved feel it’s better for me to only weigh myself once a month.
While it hasn’t been one full month since I weighed myself, I was still able to get in, get on the scale, and get it over with. Without further ado . . .
Previous Weight (July 25th, 2013): 338lbs
Current Weight: 322lbs
Loss = 16lbs
Let me just say, right off the bat, this has been the longest damn month in my life, and it’s not been a whole lot of fun either. Even though I am technically on a 70% semi-liquid diet, it’s still really hard. Really hard! About a week in I learned the hard way, I was not getting nearly enough fiber, if you know what I mean. My lower intestines are already completely screwy due to the years spent abusing laxatives, then bariatric surgery and a later reversal of that surgery. In all the years I’ve dealt with lower GI problems I’ve never once been constipated. Ever. Not even after 4 c-sections. Well I pretty much not only broke that record, I completely shattered it. It was easy enough to remedy once I realized what was going on, but I spent three days in misery. I’m now adding ground flax seed to everything. I’m even using it as a body scrub at this point, just in case. OK, so, I might be joking about that last part, but hell, if I thought it would actually benefit me, I’d probably do it! I’m also paying attention to how much fiber is in what I’m eating in the latter part of the day. At this point, I am allowed 2000 calories a day (I know it seems like a lot, but when you are as heavy as I am, in order to maintain my weight, I’d need to be eating approximately 3000 calories, give or take, a day) and that’s without anything more than the most basic exercise. I seriously upped the amount of fiberous veggies and fruits I am allowed in the latter part of the day, and with the ground flax seed, it’s helped a great deal.
I do think the number on the scale should be lower, but because last weekend I didn’t just fall off the wagon, I did a complete belly-lop off the damned wagon when Gaby and I took off to Maine for a few days, my weight loss wasn’t quite the amount it could have been. It wasn’t a leap into complete gluttony and debauchery though. It’s just that I didn’t plan at all for taking my Unjury with me, and didn’t really think out, in advance, what I was going to do about meals, and stuff like that. I skipped breakfast entirely, which is a completely crappy thing to do in the first place. Lunch was usually a heavy salad loaded with too much cheese and way too much nasty, oily, fatty salad dressing, and then dinner was usually way too carb-heavy. My only saving grace is that I’m not over-eating in the sense that the proportions are too large. I’m definitely able to feel when I’m full and don’t push myself over the edge, because when I do, it almost always results in me making myself sick. Despite eating normal portions last weekend, I managed to make myself pretty ill after eating fried shrimp, really sugary (but OH-MY-GOSH was it soooo good!) coleslaw, and overly creamy and buttery baked potato slices. While I’ve been able to wean myself almost entirely off of Coca Cola, potatoes are still my nemesis. I’m pretty much only drinking seltzer water, unsweetened ice tea (I hope all my friends in the south won’t hate me when I say this, but sweet tea is just the nastiest thing EVER!) with tons of yummy lemon, and just plain ol’ ice water.
The only thing I do miss about last weekend is the physical sensation of having something in my mouth and chewing on it. Two shakes a day that consist of protein powder and a frozen banana, or frozen blueberries or strawberries, some skim milk, and a tablespoon of ground flax leaves me feeling like I haven’t had a real meal. I’ve noticed that I get bored pretty quickly after my morning shake or afternoon shake and those are kind of scary times for me. While it forces me to find useful distractions (which hasn’t been hard now that Gaby is done with summer camp and dance camp) that occupy my mind and hands, when lunch time comes around for Gaby and I’m looking at her fish and green beans followed by bananas and cherries and yogurt (she doesn’t eat this every day for lunch, but she would if she could!) afterwards, I am really tempted. I just want something in my mouth. My shakes pretty much go down as soon as they go in. While they leave me satiated, for the most part, I just want to sit and enjoy a meal. Does that make any sense? You have no idea how many times I’ve gotten Gaby a bowl of sweet juicy strawberries after lunch, drizzled it with a little yogurt, and have been tempted to snatch one or three of those berries and pop them into my mouth!
The upside to last weekend, outside of the many food disasters? I felt physically better than I have in a long time. I took Gaby to Aquaboggan, where, six months ago I wouldn’t have been able to move from slide to slide, to pool to wave-pool, back to the slides, over and over again, without needing an ECV to haul my big ass around. I wasn’t even in pain when we left last Friday, after spending 8 hours at the waterpark. I can’t remember if it was June or July that I took Gaby to The Great Escape here in NY, and was in so much pain, and so exhausted after walking for less than ten minutes, that I was forced to rent an ECV. Granted, Aquaboggan Waterpark is not a huge place, but the fact that I could walk back and forth, and stand in one spot for more than 20 minutes waiting for her to come down the same slide a million times, and try to get a good photo? Well, for me personally that’s pretty huge. While I’m not ready to tackle walking a mile (to be honest, I cringe just thinking about it), I was pretty proud of the fact that I was able to take Gaby to a waterpark, by myself, and not have to rely on Gareth to take her from attraction to attraction, while I sat on my fat ass, completely sucking at life.
The exercise thing I mentioned earlier? That’s going to change starting Sunday – more about that in a minute.
Until August 25th, I stay right around 2000 calories a day. Then I get pushed off a cliff. Sort-of. I get bumped down to 1500 calories a day. Sunday is also when I begin my 3-a-days. What are “3-a-days”? My doctors all agree that now is the time to start adding in exercise, gradually working up in intensity and frequency. My pain is being managed nicely, and now is the best time to start. In addition to spending at least an hour a day in the pool 5 days a week, I will exercise for ten minutes, three times a day, 7 days a week. Everyone involved feels that it would be easier on my body, and that I’d likely have a better chance of sticking with it, if we broke it up into time periods like this. Plus, as time passes, my stamina will increase, and hopefully so will my ability to stand longer and longer periods of time exercising. There are some studies that suggest this sort of duration/frequency is a good thing, especially for people with serious joint issues like me, and for those not used to any sort of regular physical activity, again, like me. I haven’t even been in the pool as much as I’m supposed to, at this point. I (finally – no thanks to our insurance company completely holding things up) start PT and OT in September and being that they have a pool there, in addition to the one we use at our Y, I’m sure that will change too. Despite the Y being a pretty non-judgmental place, I still don’t like walking down the hall from the gym, to the pool, and then all the way across the pool deck, in my swimsuit. I am overly-self-conscious and it sucks. I should be in the water, moving around, and here I sit, far too preoccupied with what others think of me. As much as some things in my life change, some things always remain the same.
You know what I really wish? I wish that I weren’t in such a horrible place that I have to force myself to restrict to the point of a mostly liquid diet. This is not ideal, not in any sense of the word. The goal we put in place when I first started was to lose 100lbs in 6 months, just as a start. I still have another 125lbs to go after that, but need to get the first 100lbs of relatively quickly and as safely as possible in order to help my deteriorating joints, and reduce the risk that the co-morbidities of being super-morbidly obese, present. Based on this first month’s weight loss, I’m going to fall shy of that goal. And then what happens when I start re-introducing regular meals like breakfast and lunch, albeit healthy and appropriately proportioned meals? Everyone agrees that being on this kind of diet is not safe for longer than 6 months. I’m literally terrified of re-gaining any weight . . . so much so that the radically stupid idea of just eating the bare minimum needed to survive, is starting to sound good. That right there is very dangerous thinking and it’s also self-defeating and self-sabotaging. It’s just that all this thinking about food is exhausting. I have 5 months left of this semi-liquid lifestyle and I’m hoping I can hang in there, I’m still worried about the “after” part and where I go from there? I’m hoping that with time, and with the addition of exercise and more therapy and increased “psychological nutrition” that I’ll adjust. Right now though? Right now it’s hard, and it’s one day at a time.
Before you undertake any lifestyle change when attempting to lose weight, please consult your own health care provider and don’t rely on something you read on the internet as your guide to making healthy choices, in particular, don’t assume that because I’m super-morbidly obese and on a mostly liquid diet, that you should do this too. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyhow) that we’re all different and have different needs and different health requirements. The changes I’m making and will continue to make are probably not the ideal choices for your life. Put the due diligence into researching healthy lifestyle options that fit your own needs and lifestyle, consult with your doctor and then go from there.