Complete Mind F: dealing with ugly…

My brain tells me I’m hideous, so I overcompensate.

When will I stop feeling fat?

I can look down at my body and see that I’m half the person I was before. I can slide on my size 4 jeans and bask in the delight of that feeling.
But I look in the mirror and, standing there, looking at me with her disapproving glare, is the old me.
I see every imperfection.
–My stomach sticks out almost as far as my boobs. My arms are flabby. My butt. My face. The stretch marks that remind me of all of my past body mistakes.–
Every. Thing.

And then another thought crosses my mind. Maybe I’m too thin. My curves are all but gone. How can I be attractive when I am a shell of the person I was?
This is a troubling, but fleeting thought. As I look in the mirror again, I consider how silly it is for me to think Im too thin when, obviously, I am the opposite.

It’s overwhelming.

For the most part, pictures are the remedy to this dysmorphic way of thinking. I see myself as I am, which is comforting. It doesn’t always work. Affirmation from others is also helpful, but I want to move beyond this extrinsic form of gaining self-esteem. I have no idea how to win this battle…but I will. I will win this battle.

I’ve decided that this is why patients are required to have a psych eval before surgery. To confirm that each patient is, in fact, able to handle the complete mind f@&k that goes hand-in-hand with rapid weight loss.

Carry on…

1512442_10203584379502881_92859006809490134_n

Advertisements

So you married a narcissist…

nar·cis·sism ˈ
närsəˌsizəm
noun
excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.

Is that me? For the last few weeks, the old me has been creeping back in. I loathe the old me. Not the obese old me. The one before that. The wild one. I’ve been much more lackadaisical with things that I’m usually fervent about. A slip of the tongue here. Letting thoughts invade there. And I don’t really care.

But I do.

And in the midst of all of this confusion. I’ve started to look the way I want to look. I’m healthy. I look nice. But I’ve taken it too far, I fear. I’ve replaced what I used to care about with caring about how I look. Every day. I want the right clothes, the perfect make up, the perfect shoes. I want to look perfect. I want people to see me as beautiful.

And that’s the problem, I think.

I want people to see me as I’m beautiful. I keep having to prove it to myself. It started as a celebration of my success with this new lifestyle. But now it’s turned into–how beautiful can I be? Can I look prettier? More desirable? Sexier, even? It’s kind of disgusting.

Yesterday I sat down with a friend and answered all kinds of questions about what drives me, motivates me….what makes me tick. Why did I have the surgery? What was the outcome for me emotionally and physically, and what will the outcome be for my children in the long run. Listening to my answers in my head later that evening made me ill. When did I become so self-righteous? So vain? SO narcissistic? I’m not that person! 

Or am I?

I did this to be healthy. To make my kids proud to have me as a mom. For my husband. But did I?

Did I just do this to be skinny?
I need to refocus.

To be continued
10462835_10152505469159494_119935377743591366_n

Who Was That Person?!

Have I changed? I wonder sometimes. I definitely feel more confident and free to be me.
But does that necessarily mean that I’ve changed? I don’t think so. I think it just means that I’m more free to be the person I was all along.

Tongue out

For so long (at least 8 years), I tried NOT to draw attention to myself. I wanted colorful hair and cute clothes, but I didn’t want people to notice me. I wanted my nose pierced, but I didn’t want to be the fat girl with piercings. I wanted to be invisible. I was a muted version of me.  Now, I blend in and it’s like a safety blanket. It gives me the freedom to just be ME! Whatever way I want to express myself. Whatever trend I want to follow. I just DO it!

It’s liberating.  If you have not experienced something like morbid obesity (I’m not talking about the 10 pounds that you can’t seem to lose since last thanksgiving), you can not imagine what this is like. Period.

I was buried in fat before the surgery. I was me all along….but I was trapped in this body that wasn’t mine. It didn’t do what I wanted it to do. It didn’t look like I wanted it to look. It failed me daily.  High blood pressure, headaches, GERD, sleep apnea, knee problems,  depression…..who IS that person?!?! It was the person I made myself into. The person my body made me.

I feel like I’ve been set free. Like I can do anything. Accomplish anything.  I really had no idea how much harder EVERYTHING was for me when I was obese. Now everything seems so easy. Really.

I realize people may think I’ve been too focused on my looks…. that I was beautiful before and whatnot. Maybe I was….but this celebratory attitude is not just vanity. There might be a little of that, to be honest. But, really, its VICTORY. I’m celebrating a victory.

I WIN! Fat loses! Depression loses! Inevitable-diabetes loses! I get my life back.

I get to be the person I was on the inside all along!

8 months post-op/-85 pounds

Make good choices, people! (Something I have to remind myself daily…..hourly even)

Fat-1

 

**Disclaimer: I realize that the word “fat” is offensive to some. It was offensive to me for a very long time. Now, it’s just reality for me. The fact is that I had an exorbitant amount fat under my skin destroying my body. When I write about fat, I’m only talking about my own body. No one else’s. ❤ ❤ ❤

Identity Crisis

So…it’s been about 5 months since my last blog post. And what a wild 5 months it has been. We left the Army, moved to Houston, moved again to the suburbs, and are currently trying to find our place in this crazy world.
In the midst of all of that, I’ve lost an amount of fat equivalent to two small children.
I am currently coming up on 6 months post-op and, to-date, have lost 80 pounds.  It’s like finally being free. Like I can start life all over. For YEARS I felt trapped inside of my own body. Unable to escape. Now, I LOVE my body…not in a vain, sexual way….but in a “this is so cool!” way. I love not needing to escape it. I love that it does what I want, when I want.
1959607_10152212101424494_1646405971_n
I didn’t know I could feel this good all the time. Really. I was used to being sick. I was used to aches, fatigue, nausea. Now I’m getting used to feeling fantastic! I’m getting used to sore muscles after a workout! 😉
I eat:
fish
chicken (very little since it still upsets my tummy)
turkey jerky
Low-fat cheese (hard cheese has more protein)
FF Cottage cheese
Some fruit (no more than a cup per day)
Light N Fit Greek yogurt
Beans
Nuts (watch the fat content in these)
Slim Fast- high protein shakes
Atkins protein shakes
Zero Carb Isopure Protein shakes
And sometimes I splurge on a carb balance tortilla

For exercise, I do crossfit at home. I get my WODs from crossfit.com
My son has started doing this with me, and it has been SO MUCH FUN for us. I highly recommend it for everyone. We get his workouts from crossfitkids.com

1514616_10152081788134494_1582671522_n

So…to the deeper stuff we go.
I don’t know if my identity crisis stems from our move, getting out of the army, the rapid weight loss, or the fact that all of those things happened within a couple months of each other.
The thing about the Army is…even though it was really freakin awful sometimes, it was also predictable. I knew who I was. I knew where I stood. For TEN years.  I knew that my friends knew exactly what I was going through all of the time. I was a Sargent’s wife. E-5. Comanche 3. Fort Hood. Bugles in the morning (sometimes I still hear them). Retreat in the evening, with a salute from everyone, everywhere. ID checks to get home. On a deployment cycle for the last 10 years. It wasn’t always pretty, but there is was.

425074_10151011690229494_42622645_n 487562_10151404888559494_906316253_n 192542_10150113333404494_8304968_o 193530_10150115518524494_5029661_o
I was FRG leader. Friend. Helpful. Laid-back. (scatter-brained). Strong. ARMY STRONG.
Now I am just young, scatter-brained, and frustrating it seems. What we did before this doesn’t matter here. It’s not important. People can post as many military-support themed memes they want…When it comes to real life application, they don’t care at all. PERIOD.
I digress.
On top of that identifying marker, I have also lost a third of my body. It’s a beautiful thing, but I feel like I might be getting washed away with all of the change. I wonder if this is a normal milestone for weight loss surgery people. Maybe?
Tonight, a friend posted pictures of life back home…from years ago. I cried. Then I cried some more. Then I locked myself in the bathroom and let it all out. I miss Fort Hood. I miss the Army. I miss being an Army wife. I miss the bugles and the explosions. I miss my life.
I don’t know who I am anymore. I am me….obviously. But who is that? What is my identifying marker?
I just blend in these days….into the city with millions of other people.

I don’t feel like this everyday. Welcome back to my super depressing blog! LOL! When I started this, I told you I would give you the good, bad, and the ugly! And there it is, folks! 🙂
While I know not all of this is WLS related, I do think the surgery played it’s part.

I will leave you with the happy things!
Victories:
Lost 80 pounds
Down 2.5 ring sizes
Wearing a size 6
My kids tell me not to lose anymore weight bc they want me to still be a little squishy
I feel healthy
I’m getting stronger every day
I can do real pushups!
I do not feel like I stick out anymore (how ironic is this)
And
I have made a handful of beautifully sweet friends. I love them very much already. For the most part, they are just as quirky as me. 🙂
🙂

Thanks for reading!

Week 3 Post Op: Mi Vida Loca

I’ve been hesitant to post a new entry bc I’m still trying to wrap my head around all that is going on in my life right now.

My husband is getting out of the Army, and we are moving back to Houston this week. I can’t help him, and that makes me feel selfish for having the surgery right now. Because we are moving, we have had lots of food-related gatherings…something that I would not have noticed before. Let me explain…

While our society dictates how we should look, our culture dictates what role food has in our lives. It is everywhere. It is the central part of all get-togethers. Snacks, desserts, finger foods. ugh. Im sure at least 60% of all TV commercials are devoted to food. For a while, I felt as if I was drowning in our culture’s obsession with food.

So, I was down. I want to indulge the way everyone else does. But I can’t. And the craziest thing is, I know I physically can’t, but I also know that if I physically could, I would! Even though I know better now. Maybe I’ve always known better.

It’s week 3, and I’m starting to see huge drops in my excess weight, which makes all of the mental struggles completely worth it. In addition to pounds, I’m also losing inches…which is only possible because of the sacrifices. I need to keep perspective on that.

Diet:
I can have white meats, like fish, chicken, and turkey. I can also have beans, cheese, milk, and eggs.
A day of meals for me is something like this:

Tuna salad (FF mayo, boiled egg, FF cheese)- 2oz
-the add ins are there for extra protein
Unjury Chicken Soup Protein Mix- 4oz
Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt- 2oz
Unjury Chicken Soup Protein Mix- 4oz

I’m getting roughly 60g of protein and drinking 80 oz of water each day.

Sometimes I get hungry, so I add another source of protein a little later in the evening.
I’m currently down to 195. I started at 226, which means I’m about a quarter of the way to my goal weight!

In pictures, I feel like I look amazing! I’m starting to get my waistline back, and my boobs look bigger bc I don’t have a big ole tummy sitting underneath them fighting for attention. 😉

20130916-082416.jpg (I’m in orange)

BUT…I don’t FEEL thinner. Well, like when I’m exercising, I feel almost weightless…but that’s not what I mean.
I mean, sitting here typing this, I still feel like 226 pounds. Running errands with my husband, I feel like 226pounds. You know…like the way I think I look to other people, even though i know it’s not true. Maybe it’s because I’ve had these body image issues for so long. Maybe they are just a part of who I am now. When I’m out with him, I think sometimes that people must be thinking, ‘why on earth would that good looking guy be with that gross oompah loompah?’
It’s going to take a lot of hard work, therapy, and prayer to change these insecurities and my desire to eat food that I shouldn’t eat.

For now, though, things are ok! I have stuff to work out, but who doesn’t? 🙂
I’m optimistic about the upcoming move, and I’m excited to have my parents on board for support on the journey, and to help us adjust to being back in the big city!

Thanks for reading!

-Kat 🙂

20130916-082226.jpg

Half the Battle is Mental…

Have you ever felt that overwhelming urge to run away? To go do anything besides the thing you are currently doing? It usually happens to me when I’m in the middle of something I don’t really want to do. It happened a lot when I was in school. In the last few days, I’ve noticed this feeling growing stronger.

My conclusion? I want to eat. My brain is feeling trapped by this surgery and my body’s inability to take in food.

I am closed in a box like an animal at the zoo, with a sign that says Do Not Feed.
I am feeling claustrophobic in my own skin. I want to escape. To eat tacos, or fruit, or whatever the latest meal is at our dinner table.
Food has been a sort of therapy for years. This is not just a fat people thing. Many of my friends feel this way, too.

Hard day? Lets whip up something yummy and sit around the table to eat as a family. Now everything is so much better!

Except that I do not get this reprieve any longer.
So how do I fill this void that has always been filled with food?
Ill let you know when I find out…

-Kat

20130903-074927.jpg

Week One Post-op: This is for the birds!

It’s been 12 days since my last blog post, and I am now six days POST-OP!! Yay me! Obviously I survived the surgery. My CPAP was of no concern. I actually used it more than I ever had, and it was a comfort to me. 🙂

So here is how it went:
6:00am Report Time

6:00-7:15 blood drawn, talked to a chaplain and anesthesia

7:30 Operating room, scooted on to the table, LIGHTS OUT

Later. Maybe 12pm? Recovery room. This is fuzzy.

12:30pm In my room with my husband

Everything went great, said my amazing surgeon.

I was on a morphine drip, but still in a good amount of pain. My focus? Getting out of the hospital. I started taking laps around the unit almost immediately. I walked 5 times per day for two days. Thanks GOD for morphine.

On Tuesday morning, I took my swallow test to make sure everything was flowing correctly. I passed, and was able to try jello and broth. YUM! No, seriously. The broth was amazing. 😉

Image

Tuesday evening I was discharged.  I kind of wish, now, that I had stayed another day. I was not able to manage my pain at home as well as I had in the hospital. The lortab was making me sick, so I was unable to get a handle on my pain without feeling like I was going to throw up.

By Thursday I was wondering what on earth I was thinking when I decided to do this. Let them mangle my body. I was in SO MUCH pain. But the worst part was that I had to eat. They wanted me to consume 80 oz of water, 7 different types of vitamins and other medications, and 2 protein drinks per day. How was this even possible? For the first two days, I really focused on getting my vitamins and protein in. I had been told over and over how important the protein is. (While it is VERY important, I had taken it out of context)

On Thursday night, my husband drove me to the ER. I was nauseous, could barely stand, and felt like the world was spinning.  I was dehydrated. Two bags of saline solution later, I was feeling much better. Now I know, WATER first, then meds, then protein.

So there are my first four days after surgery. Brutal. But maybe I’m just a baby. 😉

By Saturday morning, most of the pain was gone. Most, not all. I took the full dose of Lortab, something I hadn’t done all week. It was important that day, though, bc I was going to the lake to watch my beautiful husband get baptized. This was the most amazing experience. For that moment, there was no pain, no operation, no list of things I had to do…. there was just my husband, committing his life to the Lord.
Image

Even though there wasn’t any pain in that moment, the exhaustion did come later. Walking to and from the beach in 100 degree weather really wiped me out.

So now, it is six days since I had my surgery. I feel blessed to have my husband by my side through this journey. He has taken care of my every need. Even in the middle of the night. He brings me water, gives me shots, makes sure I do what I’m supposed to, and even washed my hair for me. I love this man.
As far as the surgery goes, I don’t regret it anymore. I think that was just the pain and discomfort getting to me. The discomfort is almost completely gone, and I’ve lost a total of six pounds in one week! This is something that I love! I love thinking that, in a matter of time, there will be no pain at all! I will be able to eat again, but in a different way, and I will continue to watch the pounds fall away.  I will be able to exercise. I will be able to play with my kids. I will be a new woman.

My one-week appointment is this upcoming Tuesday. I hope they are proud of me! I also hope they clear me for the Phase II diet!! MmmmmMmmm….eggs, beans, and cheese. Three weeks of water, broth, and protein shakes is for the birds.

Kat 🙂