I can name one of my stressors. Betty. I pound my fist on my desk at you, Betty. Every time I see an email from you, I instantly know I am going to agitated and the first thing that flashes in my brain is a cheeseburger. Not killing you. Not punching you in the face. Just stuffing my face with a cheeseburger. You almost made me do it today, Betty, but I did not cave. You were the final straw that set off my last episode but I didn’t need another one so I am maintaining. 

But now my husband texts me saying “I am mentally exhausted” so I will have to take on his emotions too. No, he doesn’t “take it out on me”. He will probably just stomp around like a giant child, pouting about all the stupid idiots at work and how they don’t know anything and he has to do everything and he’s so sick of this and that and how he doesn’t want to work anymore. On. And on. And on. I had to refrain from saying today STOP WHINING TO ME. I just suggested he take a mental health day. I at least have the decency to not pester him with my emotions. I just ignore everything. I am CONSIDERATE. Or, emotionally closed off. WHICHEVER. I don’t like feeling things. I can’t remember the last time I was over the moon excited about something. I am super pumped that I will get to see Soundgarden live in a few months but all I did was a slow, controlled fistpump to myself in my office. There isn’t much more to how I express EXCITEMENT. I am thrilled about going to Secrets Maroma again during summer break. But I didn’t jump up and down and scream “WHOOOO”. Definitely not a “whoo girl”. 

Right now I am fighting off the urge to eat pizza. Or a loaf of sourdough bread. A loaf of sourdough bread turned into pizza. I am laughing off the Betty thing but now i have to dance around what my husband will really be like. Will he be needy and want a lot of attention? I hope not. Will he just go hide in the office and play a game? I kinda hope so. And then I will suggest we order Chinese (nothing fried!) because I forgot about dinner. 

I have been regular for a full week now and it’s so strange how this cycle goes. In a past post I mentioned that I can’t figure out a pattern. I meant in relation to over the course of a year. I have figured out that an episode occurs something like: stressing events leads to tailspin of stress -> irritability -> anxiety -> hopelessness -> depression. During this time I am not caring for myself. I eat my lack of emotions and just wait it out. I always know it will end but I don’t know when. I am technically diagnosed with “episodic mood disorder”, which is more fitting than depression but it’s just easier to say depression because people understand that. I think when people hear you have a mood disorder that they assume you sit around brooding with a hoodie on and the hood is pulled up. I am the one making assumptions on that note, I have no idea if anyone really thinks that. 

I gained a pound during this latest fog, which didn’t upset me. I expected it and I made myself get on the scale so I could quantify the damage. So despite that setback, I am now back in the saddle of getting myself in control for a week now. I’ve been on the treadmill every day to ensure I get at least 3000 steps per day and also do a more intense walk 4 days per week. I took a break from it yesterday because I got my 3000 steps just from having a more active day on the job and also my right knee and hip have been sore. I also ate within my calorie allotment for the day, so a little treadmill time out was appropriate. 


When it comes to the Lifestyle Program diet guidelines, they want you to eat approximately 1400 calories per day. But counting calories is not a huge part of it. I have a sheet that lists how many servings of meat, starch, dairy, fats, fruits and vegetables I should have at each meal and then another sheet that gives you an idea of what a serving is. I can not live on 1400 calories right now. I think this is a mistake I’ve made in the past where I limit calories too much, end up feeling starved and then just stuff my face. So I am sticking to 1800 calories per day right now. I do lose as long as I stick to that and sure, there are some days I go over and some days I burn 500 calories on the treadmill to give me a better net calorie count. 1800 calories is a decent reduction to what I was eating prior to this program plus I am making better choices. I’ve eliminated all regular soda while limiting Coke Zero (only soda I drink regularly) to 12 oz. per day and will eventually eliminate that as well. I’ve stopped buying secret snacks, such as bags of cheese curls, candy bars (I was mostly into this locally made chocolate that is the best!), snack cakes, etc. 

I meet with my surgeon for the first time on Monday. I’ve got some questions prepared and feel confident about my understanding of the procedure and risks. I still question why WLS? I researched it a few years ago and decided I was not ready for such a drastic lifestyle overhaul. Now I feel like I don’t want to be obese a minute longer but know I can’t lose all of this weight without the tool. I do worry that I’m not “bad” enough yet. Like, I will be denied for being a relatively healthy obese person, if somewhat elevated blood pressure and cholesterol aren’t considered “that bad”. I will be 34 next month and have been in the obese BMI range for the last 14 years. I didn’t identify myself as a fat person for a lot of that time but my denial has finally caught up to me. Being on the cliff of 300 pounds certainly change my tune. I know this path I’m choosing is not east and I am ready for the changes. I need to be restricted and I do hope I am not the person who “can eat anything and not dump” after surgery. I want to be at a healthy weight so I can exercise without pain and also grow into my later years without worrying that I will end up dying in an arm chair because I have no muscle tone to move and I’m so depressed from being diabetic and on dialysis. This is what will happen to my grandma; she is sitting herself to death. I have a lot more living to do.

And, regular.

And just like that, I am back to regular. I am a calorie controlled breakfast that hit all the food groups, I drank water at lunch and had salad (along with a delicious chicken burger on brioche, oopsie). I took all my vitamins and am drinking more water! I even have on pedometer and plan in taking a spin on the treadmill later. DINNER IS EVEN PLANNED.

I have no entries for my food and exercise journal for the past week so I guess we shall see if the insurance company really reviews them or if they just get tossed out. Seriously, are these really held onto? I’ve turned in 1 month’s worth so far and no one has called to say that my mission has been aborted and turn back now. Whatever. I am just glad to be back to regular and can now move on with the new back of work I’ve received. And continue with the WLS process.

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Well, another week blurred by me with no recollection of the damage I’ve done to my health and diet. All I recall is CRAP. Out of control eating. Moping. Sleeping. Hiding. One very drunk night. I was so depressed, I could not even bring myself to smoke a little, which has shown some usefulness. I didn’t take my vitamins. I made sure to take my birth control at least, even though there was nothing to prevent. After 5 days, my husband finally asked if I was mad at him. I have slept on the couch at least 5 nights in a row because he snores SO loud and I have been staying up late. I also had a nice 4 day weekend (which was a real job-saver since I would not have been able to do anything anyway) so watching stupid crap late at night was on the agenda. He DOES NOT get it. “Why are you so bummed out?” “Why haven’t you been taking vitamin D?” If I knew WHY then I would do the opposite of that thing so I would not get like this! This just happens. I am regular, somewhat content (I am not manic or bi-polar, dysthymic-leaning if anything) then I am low before I know and just as quickly as I became low and realize I am low, I am back to regular. I can’t figure out the pattern.

A few years ago, when I sought therapy, I thought the pattern was every three months. But that wasn’t entirely accurate. The therapy was on situationally effective as my mother was a raging alcoholic and I needed help to deal with that and how to get her help. Well, she got the help and is staying her path of recovery. Then I stopped the therapy because I liked my therapist too much and didn’t take her seriously. So I thought I should try  the medical routine. I liked the psychiatrist enough (NEVER go to a PCP for these types of medicinal purposes) and he did try but the medication regiment was not helpful and I might have felt worse. We discussed possible dysthymia but I don’t feel kinda depressed ALL of the time.

Last week I went from highly annoyed to irritable to hopeless to blob then got drunk Friday night with my friends (we all got too drunk, which is nice) and spent the rest of the weekend foggy and feeling bingy. I ate a lot of bread and then my idiot husband bought me a giant box of chocolate. NOT my favorite kind either. I said to him, this is a little counterproductive, no? He said well just eat a little then take it to the girls at work. I WAS OFF FOR 4 DAYS STRAIGHT, THE GIRLS AREN’T AT WORK EITHER! So almost all of the chocolate is gone but he did help. I made myself got on the scale this morning and surprisingly, the results were not AWFUL. Less than a pound. But still, I am not at all in line with meeting my goals and I am taking a million steps backwards with my food issues. I think I will need some serious food addiction therapy work soon to help me not get so crazy after the WLS (if approved, of course).

Today was the last drive-thru straw. Burger King is truly awful. Taco Bell has been eliminated forever. Going to Burger King today just made me realize how much I hate myself. I was punishing myself with crap for treating myself like crap all week. It was like, here, self, you deserve nothing but awful crap so get over it and enough already!

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I did manage to do actual work today both professionally and domestically. This fog is about to lift and I need to log some time on the treadmill. 

At the first Lifestyle “class” my program and insurance requires, one of the dietitians spoke to me directly and got me started with a reading assignment and a worksheet then we discussed the results. At the end of the reading assignment, you write goals for the month: exercise, nutrition and behavior. So the reading was on my own but then I had someone process with me and that was it. Well last night was completely different and the experience has left me feeling disappointed and quite agitated. I still feel agitated about it this morning (but have not done anything stupid!), I think also in part because I did not get to “blog it out” last night due to my husband’s highly important online gaming event with his friends on the desktop and it is too annoying to blog on my Kindle.

Last night was completely different. I go into a large auditorium and was awkwardly greeted by some man who gave me the assignment and a new food log and told me I’d be weighed at the end (what! I’ve been dying all day to find out and I have to wait more?!). This month’s module discussed ways to get in some activity while at work and making good snack choices. Easy enough read and worksheet. It did take me awhile to come up with my goals for the month but I made it happen.There’s a few other people in this gigantic room working on their assignments too but obviously there’s no chatting, just reading. I take my worksheet back to the greeters and there’s barely any eye contact and only a rushed “Do you have this and that, I need your food log, take this and get weighed”. I get weighed, my weight is recorded and that was it. No comment, no asking me if I had questions or concerns. That. was, it. I asked the lady where I could pay for the class and she said she didn’t know. I didn’t find out about having to pay for the classes until AFTER my first class when my welcome letter arrived with directions. AFTER the class. I had to call the office and say, hey I didn’t know about any of this so I didn’t pay. I was told not to worry about it so I didn’t. So this is how things are going to go? Honestly, I don’t feel great about the program at this point. I had to call to get an appointment scheduled with the surgeon (twice!) and am expecting some paperwork that has not arrived in the nearly 3 weeks since I made the appointment. I have already called once about not receiving anything but no one has gotten back to me. I live 25 minutes from the hospital – USPS hasn’t shuttered its doors yet! I am going to see how I feel after meeting with the surgeon in 3 weeks and try a different night of the week for the March weigh-in then figure out if I want to voice my gripes or not.

My goals for the month:

  • Behavior: When feeling stressed, I will take some deep breaths and go for a short walk rather than reaching for a comfort snack (how timely!!)
  • Exercise: I will walk at least 3000 steps per day and continue with last month’s goal of walking at least 4 days/week for at least 30 minutes.
  • Nutrition: I will limit going out to dinner two nights per week.

Oh yeah and I lost 9 pounds.

AND 5 HOURS LATER I DO SOMETHING STUPID.

Drive-thru trip to McDonald’s. I have not blown ALL of my calories for the day but the thing is, I don’t feel guilty that I did something I know I should not have. I don’t even feel bad that I don’t feel bad, in fact, I feel a little better. I have a serious “fuck it all” attitude today. The kind where I do seek out destructive choices. Before I was married, that meant contacting my EX-whatever to hook-up and that would send me into a tailspin of despair for weeks and months. I have not talked to him since I’ve been with my husband other than to reply to an email he sent to me at the very beginning of our relationship saying that I was in a relationship and pretty much fuck off. Then I blocked his email address. But then hacked into his email every now and gain, which my husband found out about. I wasn’t curious about his life, I just liked confirming that he really does have a personality disorder and saw all the same things he did and said to me but with someone else. His password is now changed so I haven’t had any peeks into his life in awhile but I feel confident that I am not missing A THING. Now the most destruction I do is occasionally think I hate being married and look at apartments and hit up a drive-thru. Still married (I don’t REALLY hate it, the “depressed” me just hates everything) and still hitting up drive-thrus.

I have a new love besides my husband. It’s an obsession really – weight loss surgery. It all started in October 2012 when my mother mentioned that my weight was concerning her. Not because of looks (eye roll) but because of my health. Funny, there was nothing “wrong” with me. I couldn’t speak to her for weeks because I was SO MAD. But I probably wasn’t that mad at her. More so, mad at myself because I know I had packed on the pounds during my first year of marriage – 17 to be exact. Well, in December, I had my annual physical with my PCP and told her I was ready to do something about my weight. When I first met my doctor the previous year, I was going through a major depressive episode and so wasn’t my normal charming self. I was feeling much better for this appointment and she warmed to me a little and didn’t get preachy when asked if I’d be a candidate for surgery. She said yes and gave me a few surgeons to contact. I decided to go through the program at Magee-Women’s Hospital and went with my PCP’s recommendation of Dr. Anita Courcoulas, who is the director of the program. A week after that appointment, my husband and I attended an information session where I submitted a form with some basic health information. I more than met the requirement of needing a BMI of at least 40. I figured it’d be awhile before I heard anything, which doesn’t work for me. When it comes to things I want, I want them done yesterday. So luckily, I didn’t have to wait TOO LONG and I got a call 6 days later. Dr. Courcoulas had selected me as a candidate and my first Lifestyle Program class was scheduled for January 8.

So here I am, almost a month later and I am finishing up the first month of my 6-month pre-op program (6 weigh-ins, so really 5 months) so I have been obsessively researching so many aspects of the ins and outs of the surgery. Every time my husband asks what I’m reading about – it’s always related to WLS – someone’s blog, an article, the best vitamins and comparing prices on protein shakes, you name it and I’ve looked into it! I like having projects like this but I’ve realized that the more I focus on all the “after” the surgery that I am neglecting what I need to do before. It only just recently occurred to me that I should be using the time to prepare for my world being turned inside out and upside down if I am approved for this surgery! I really need to work out what I have and have not been doing to get myself to an obese place and what I need to do with this new tool.

I have my second weigh-in next week and do anticipate a loss. Have I make leaps and bounds in changing my eating habits during this first month? No but there were some changes. My husband and I have limited eating out/take-out to twice per week. This is kind of huge for us. We declared Tuesday and Saturday to be our eating out days and we really did stick to it. There were a couple times when we rearranged the days based on plans but it was determined ahead of time and not just out of laziness and whining about having to cook when there’s nothing of nutritional value in the house! During this program, I have to keep a daily food and activity journal. Oh, I’ve been brutally honest and I can count the number of times I have hit up a drive-thru during this month (which I have never done and don’t even review my checking account register). What have I learned? I am addicted to fast food. I can barely live without bread. It doesn’t matter what kind – probably the whiter the better. Nothing against brown bread but man, I love some Italian bread! I have not done great with the exercise goal I set last month. Sure, I could have walked more outside in the bitter cold but I was waiting for the treadmill! It came today, so I have no excuse anymore.

I have started to think about the goals I am going to set for next month. I am going to keep the same exercise goal, with the intention or surpassing it. I have got to keep my water intake up because I need to get used to having to be constantly hydrated! For nutrition, I am not ready to set something stringent yet in terms of the frequent drive-thru runs. I will eventually, maybe the last month as I go through a “detox” so to speak.

I have my first consult with Dr. Courcoulas on March 4. I feel annoyed already with the office because I have to call to get things done. Get paperwork, get appointments. Right now it’s not so bad but when it does matter with insurance approval, there is no time to mess around! I am so fortunate to have so much time off through the summer and want to use that time to my advantage. Rumor has it that Dr. C sets a tentative surgery date at the first appointment so I am hoping she still does. That would really put things in to perspective for me and let relax a bit as far as scheduling time off and pacing when I need to talk to the director at work.