Happy (?) New Year

It’s the first of the month… and a Monday… AND the start of the New Year… what a day to begin a journey!  I can only imagine the thousands (upon thousands) of people who just started a new diet or went back to an old one in attempt to finally keep the lose weight/get healthier resolution they just made.

I’ve been there.  I can feel that excitement, but only from former experience.
My current feeling:  meh
I’d like to blame it all on the fact that I am currently sick, but part of me knows that’s just a lie and I probably would be doing about the same even if I wasn’t sick… maybe.

I really let myself enjoy the holiday season.
My passion project got me out of the health swing of things and exercise got dropped and I got used to that.  So even when the passion simmered and I was in a holding pattern waiting for answers from others, I neglected to get back to prioritizing exercise.

At first, I managed to maintain the weight loss I’d achieved, but as the holidays went on and I indulged in such things as hot chocolate with a candy cane, Christmas cookies, peppermint bark, nachos (ok, not really holiday related but just thought I’d include it), eggnog and chocolates.
The weigh crept back on (oh imagine that!)
I still wasn’t worried… wasn’t phased by it.  Honestly, I’m still not.
I may have been able to lose weight while visiting my in-laws over the holiday for the first time ever, but those were regain pounds I was losing anyway.
Even as I sit here, 12.2 lbs higher than my lowest weight recently achieved (oops… that’s over my 10 lb gain rule!!!) I still feel like several of those pounds are just bloat and now that I did finally get into that lower weight range, that I’ll be able to get back to it easier than what it originally took to get there.

Weight ranges in my body are like sawing a piece of wood.  Going into the first time you have to put in the most work… break the surface and go back and forth, back and forth and finally make some progress.
Over the holidays the saw blade came out entirely, but the path formerly sawed is still there, I just need to work that saw back into and get back to where I was.
Yep, that’s how I see it, so therefore I’m not to worried… it’s all about getting back to it and not having this indulgence continue on until mid-February (I’m speaking from experience here).

I did attempt to start this day off differently than the last few weeks.  I fasted until afternoon, was up on my feet cleaning and de-Christmasing the house.   Unfortunately, I was not getting in enough water during this time as all of a sudden my throat became super soar.  It was the weirdest thing.  I’ve been sick since Christmas day and normally the sore throat portion of the cold is at the beginning.
But this came on quick and was REALLY bad.
Not only was swallowing painful, I couldn’t even talk without pain!
Luckly, I had a Cepacol lozenge on hand to suck on, otherwise that would have been some serious torture.
Happily, it subsided.  Still have NO IDEA what was up with that.  All other symptoms remain: coughing, stuffy nose, phlegm, crackling and clogged ears and general head fuzziness.
What I wanted to do was sit on the couch, play solitaire on my phone (an actual smartphone! I finally gave up my flip phone – hello 21st century, I have joined you!) and watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
But I was up and being productive and sticking to my fast.
When I finally ate, I went back to my old staple:  fried egg whites
It was a good start, however it all went downhill from there.

I just wanted to sit, take a break from being on my feet all day up until that point and have something to eat and really get to enjoy it in peace.
But I kept being interrupted.  #momlife
Each time I got up for my kids, I’d grab something else to eat that I could hopefully sit down and get to enjoy *fully* before the next interruption.
Nope, interrupted again… and again.
First it was popcorn, then cookies, then chips… oy.
Then I finally had enough, it wasn’t working… I could spend ALL DAY on the couch aiming to get just 10-15 STRAIGHT minutes to sit and chill.
So plenty full, I gave up and went back to packing up our holiday decorations.

I’m going to be real honest here… my pantry is like a dieter’s NIGHTMARE right now.  And instead of listing all the stuff in there, I’m going to just share a picture.
pantry pic 01Jan2018

There are even more bags of those Trader Joe’s Crunchy Curls than you can see there.  We only go to Trader Joe’s once a year and I told my hubby to ‘get a few bags’ and he came home with TWENTY-THREE bags.  He bought them out!
Holy hell.
At least they aren’t potato chips, but oy… way too many buddy!  I’m glad I’m not addicted to them and can avoid them pretty easily, but STILL.
And the actual potato chips you see there… that is on him as well.  He just picked those up the last time he went to the store without me.  And ranch dip to go with them.

So I have this pantry to contend with on my road back to giving a crap about myself and undoing the holiday damage I’ve done.  Yay me.
I can do it.  I’ve done it before.  I just need to get out of this rut of ‘I’ll do better *tomorrow*’ and actually DO BETTER… now.

Today may have been a fail, but that doesn’t mean tomorrow has to be.
My biggest hurdle is feeling like crap like I do now.  I have limited energy, can’t taste much, and can’t breathe out of my nose.  I HATE being sick.  I’ve spent the majority of the fall and beginning of winter sick.  Ugh.
I know it’s not an excuse, but at the same time, it’s REALLY not helping.
And you know that old adage… “feed a cold, starve a fever”.
Damn I wish I’d never heard that.  It goes through my head EVERY time I have a cold.

I did manage to wake up, weigh myself and immediately take new ‘before’ photos since it was the start of a New Year.
So there’s that.
I have untyped, unvoiced resolutions floating around in my head, but am too meh to make them anything solid… right now.  All I want right now is to not be sick anymore.
So… Happy New Year.   I hope those thousands had way more success today than I did.

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The “Danger Zone” & Letting Go

This is it… we’ve hit the “danger zone” for anyone on a journey to better health, aka the holiday season.  Sometime about a week before Thanksgiving until the New Year is really the hardest time of the year to stay on track, make good decisions and not backtrack on health goals.
Leading up to Thanksgiving I just start thinking about gravy and mashed potatoes and I start craving satisfying homemade comfort foods, which normally come as carbs I usually avoid and extra calories I don’t need.
After Thanksgiving, the Christmas onslaught starts… the homemade goodies, the chocolate candies, the peppermint bark and hot cocoa with a melted candy cane in it.
Since I usually only have such things once a year, I do allow some indulgences.  It’s all part of moderation, but even that is “extra” compared to my usual diet and the scale suffers in the end.
I consider myself lucky and proud if I make it through the holiday season just maintaining my weight.  That’s a win in my book.

So here’s where I’ll catch us up.  My last post was Oct 1, 2017 and I was having a rough time with some unexpected feelings and complications (on my end) after my husband’s surgery.
I feel like so much has changed since then.

I started a new project (a business project), one I can’t discuss the particulars of here, but let’s just say I’m in the process of getting licensing with really big plans after that *if* (and that’s a HUGE if) I get approval… or nothing will happen at all.  This is some potentially life changing stuff!
I became engrossed with this new project (creating a fb page, talking to a realtor, making a business plan, doing start-up financial estimates, drawing out how the project could look) to the point of forgetting to eat/having no desire to eat.  Literally my passion was feeding me.

Because of this, I FINALLY made it into NEW WEIGHT TERRITORY!!!!!!!!!!!  Woo-hoo!  I’ve been waiting/working on that for 6 months!
After a few weeks, the passion slowed and I kind of put the project on the back burner.  For one, I’m waiting to here back from a legal correspondent and really can’t go forward without that step of approval and two, I played host to my sister’s family and my in-laws for Thanksgiving (most guests for this holiday EVER) followed by the annual neighborhood ornament exchange I needed to get ready for and host (ended up with 20 people this year – almost double last year’s attendance).

So although the passion has lessened, appetite returned, naughty indulgences eaten, I’m still 10 lbs less than I was when I wrote my last post during my low point.
I have regained some weight from my new low (3-4 lbs), but am staying in this NEW range instead of returning to where I was.
I am truly proud of that.
Especially since exercise has just gone out the window.
I failed at my goal of getting in intentional exercise every day for the year.
With my passion project taking over, all spare minutes in the day and night were at my laptop.  The weather got colder and/or rainy and the nightly walks stopped happening.  My now 15-month-old (16 months in a couple days) got bored of being pushed in the stroller and would prefer to walk herself, however she’s not a fast walker and wanders instead of walking where she should which is problematic and doesn’t exactly keep me at a fast pace for decent cardio.
I haven’t done Turbo Jam or my Windsor Pilates in over a month.  I think I did squats like once in the last 2 months.
Although I’ve lost weight and feel better in some clothing, I feel super jiggly.  I really need to prioritize lifting weights/strength training, even if that means forgoing cardio.

My hubby is feeling jiggly as well.  It’s been 3 months today since his gastric sleeve procedure.  He’s lost a total of 83 lbs (30 before surgery, 53 after) and 4 pant sizes.  He amazingly doesn’t feel any different and doesn’t really see the difference yet.
It’s true though, when you keep your same shape and just shrink all over, it can be hard to see the difference… plus you look at yourself every day.
I can see it though… his shoulders are bonier, his belly doesn’t stick out as much, his back is smaller… and you can’t deny the baggy clothes/new clothing size.  It’s been over a decade since he fit into a pant size in the 40’s!
I’m so proud of him.
He’s doing really well… no bad side effects or recovery complications.  So far no particular foods bother him as long as he’s good about small bites, chewing well and sticking to small portions.  This way he can be satisfied getting to eat all his favorites, but just smaller amounts so he can continue to lose weight.  It really is the best-case scenario for him.
Though he doesn’t like how jiggly he’s getting… his “moobs” (man boobs) and belly in particular.  I warned him that the only way to get rid of that is yet another surgery.  He groaned at me reminding him of this.  That’ll be for some other year when we’ve hit our out-of-pocket max again if he is willing to yet again be put under (he already had another surgery this year to have some lipomas removed).  It won’t be next year as we’ll still be paying off this year and last year (C-section) and won’t be able to afford it.

Overall, I am more hopeful that I was a couple months ago.
Even though I’m in the thick of the “hard months” as far as temptations and travel, I see how FAST it’s going.  I’ll blink and Christmas will be here.
A quick trip up North and back and it’ll be New Years.
And then the fresh start happens and back in control with way less temptations.

I love that time of year. I know it’s cliché to start a health kick in the New Year, but truly, it’s needed after the holidays and it’s also a break from travel, parties, holidays and other social obligations.

The only thing that might be happening that month is my in-laws moving, which we already offered to help them, but at most that’ll just be one long weekend and will include a workout helping unpack and clean on top of keeping the kids safe.

So that covers the danger zone and catch up part of my post… now on to the “letting go” portion.
What do I mean by that?
It took me 32 years (seriously, that’s how long I’ve been overweight), but I think I finally let go of the need/want to lose weight quickly.

Yes, I can still manage to drop 4 pounds in 4 days, but seriously, all those pounds are ones I’d already lost, regained and am losing again… that’s why they drop off so quickly.  That sort of speed can’t be expected continually and frankly, it’s naive and immature to expect it.

I compared pictures of my face over the last 7 years and that’s when it hit me… for all my ups and downs, I really am MAKING PROGRESS.  And that’s the point, right?
comparison face 2010 vs 2014 vs 2017 just pics
I’m not where I was.
It’s been a long road involving multiple pregnancies, but I am 60 pounds less than my highest weight.
That really is something.  Especially when I know how easy it could be a different situation – that I could be at that heaviest weight or even bigger by now.

I am 20 pounds less than I was last year and although I wanted it to be more like 40-60 lbs lighter, overall I am happy with how the year went.

Once again, I learned even more about myself (like simple carbs just aren’t for me, I loved Keto, but my body didn’t – a lesson that included a hormone imbalance, hair loss and my body being malnourished, so I am back to a life of moderation, but with reduced carbs and more supplements).
Per usual it wasn’t calories in, calories out and some other issues popped up to deter me from hitting a weight goal.

Along those lines, I am also letting go of 1-year projects/deadlines/weight goals.  NO MORE.  I am DONE.
No more “I plan to lose X number of pounds in X number of days/weeks”, etc.  Nope.  It’s over.

I’d rather lose at a slow pace and maintain healthier life habits than forgo my sanity and control just to try and meet a goal… whether it seemed attainable or not.

I should know by now that life happens… injuries, hormone issues, age, surgeries, moving, kids, etc. and that during the course of a year, it seems to average that there are at least 4-6 months affected by unforeseen complications that hinder progress.
I always hope for the best, but I should really know better by now.
I’m not saying those things are excuses, but that they just simply effect the ability to lose as much weight as I’d hoped for that time period.
They weren’t reasons for gaining, just not losing.

I’d rather lose 20 – 40 pounds (40 is the most I’ve been able to lose in 1 year since 2004) in a year, than drop 60-100 lbs quickly just to regain a bunch or all of it back and have to lose it again.  It’s much healthier for my body NOT to be on that roller coaster.  Been there, done that and I’m paying the price now.

It’s only getting harder to lose weight.  All the bad things I’ve done in the past, the being overweight for the majority of my life and now being over 40, so many factors are making this harder than it used to be.

I have made peace with that and must go forward and make a new plan and leave this old crap in the past.

Also, as my body changes slowly and I “settle” into new weight ranges that I maintain for months, the longer I’m in said weight range, the fatter I feel which motivates me to get into the next lower range.
Let me explain…
Right now I’m in the 258-264 lb range.  For 6 months prior to that I was stuck in the 264-269 range.
At 300 or 280 (oh boy, been stuck at those weights SO MANY times in the past 13 years I’ve lost count) I would have been ESTATIC to be around 260 lbs!  Like, over-the-moon happy.
So am I?  Nope.
Some days I feel as fat and flabby as I was at 300 lbs!!!  Hello, I’m 40 lbs less than that!  What’s up with that?
I swear as I get older, the WORSE weight looks on me… even if it’s a lower weight than I have been in the past couple decades.
The opposite of this was true for the majority of my later 20’s/early 30’s – my face thinned out, cheeks dropped, weight dropped to lower extremities leaving my face, neck, shoulders and upper torso looking “thinner” even though I was the same weight or heavier than pictures of me in the past.
But that just isn’t true anymore… not since hitting 40.

It’s a cruel thing, aging.
Take my jawline for instance.
I look back at pictures of me in 2012 (the last time I flirted with this weight range, but it was so brief as I regained the weight again) and my jawline was AWESOME.  It’s how I WANT myself to look in pictures… always a jawline and effortless.  I didn’t have to stick my chin or neck out to achieve it.

But here I am… basically the same weight and I feel like I still have to work as hard to achieve a decent jawline in pictures as I did at 280 pounds.  I just slightly put my head back and bam, hello double chin!  That didn’t happen 5 years ago at this weight!
Apparently I’m one of those women who loses her jawline with age (Lauren Graham is a celebrity example of this… she is still exceptionally stunning, but just an example).

This kills me because achieving a jawline has always been goal #1 during any weight loss venture of mine – I’ve said/complained “I want my jawline back!” more times than I can remember.

So having the finish line of achieving that jawline of my past keep moving to a lower weight just plain sucks.  But this is my reality now and I have to deal with it.
This means I have to keep losing weight in order to improve to how my weight makes me look and feel.

It is NEVER an option to just “give up” and gain a bunch of weight back… not anymore.
Since my “rule” of not regaining more than 10 lbs from my current lowest achieved weight, I haven’t.  I believe I came up with that in 2014 and with the exception of my 3rd pregnancy, I have stuck to that rule and it has saved me and motivated me on more than one occasion.  It was the best rule I could ever set for myself.
Also, my hubby is losing weight and I truly want to lose right along with him (at my own pace) so that we both improve over the years… I refuse to look worse while he looks better!  It might be competition/pride, but regardless, it’s motivation to keep going.

So nope, regaining not an option… I have to keep going and apparently keep losing to fight against my aging process.

It hurts to have the realization that it might take me being in the 240’s (or less) to get that jawline I want when I thought I would have achieved it already… and maybe the 230’s to finally be able to take my wedding ring off (it’s been stuck on my fat finger since 2005) to let my finger heal.  Even just 5 years ago it those particular finish lines would have been acheived or a lot closer at this weight.

It sucks, but it’s life.  Wallowing in that suckiness doesn’t do anyone any good, so I must move on and keep going with my new reality.
It is what it is.

So I’m letting go of a few factors I guess… all important for me to move on and move forward.

So instead of sitting here bummed that I only lost 20 lbs in one year, I am proud I moved in the right direction with no major regains during the year.
And if I’m sitting here one year from now and am down just another 20 lbs (240’s), I’ll be proud I made it out of the 260’s/50’s and went in the right direction.
It may take me 20 lbs at a time each year, but that’s way better than gaining and because it’s a slower loss, it helps me figure out my daily calorie range it takes to maintain that and I can adjust slowly as needed and I just plain learn a whole lot more by going slowly.

I will ignore society’s push to lose fast.  Instead of getting angry at diet claims to “lose 10 pounds in 5 days”, I will smile knowing I won’t fall for that again and feel sorry for those that do and then gain that weight back almost immediately.
I never thought I’d consider it a good thing to be “stuck” in a certain weight range for a while… not until now.
It’ll be refreshing to see this as positive instead of getting frustrated.

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My Low Point

I swear I’ve had far more issues with my husband’s bariatric surgery than he has.  I knew life would be different post-surgery, but I didn’t realize the struggles that would come for me (not him).  No wonder there is a support group for spouses of those who have undergone a bariatric procedure!
It seems like ever since (and a little before) my husband’s gastric sleeve surgery, I’ve been losing control and facing food disorders I thought I’d conquered years ago.  I have spent far more days out of control or just coasting (maintaining) than I have staying in control and actively making good choices.
It’s been 3 weeks and 4 days and of those, I’ve only had 5 days when I was taking steps forward.
I vented out to my new support group (for spouses of those who have had a bariatric procedure) and that’s when I got my control back for those 5 days.  So maybe getting all my feelings out here will help me get back to the person I know I can be.

I’ve done it again… hit my “max” weight regain allowed.  I came up with a rule a few years ago that in a current weight loss journey, I cannot regain more than 10 lbs from the lowest weight I’d achieved so far so I never again regain all that I have lost and more (done that two times now).
Although it occurred not on an actual “official” weigh-in date, I got down to 261.8 lbs (that’s 57 lbs down from my highest weight).  I hit that June 30th… right before the weight loss slow down/hypothyroidism symptoms started during Keto.  This morning I saw 271.
The last time I saw that weight, it was August 28th, before his surgery and during the “last meals”.
Those 5 days of getting back control had me back down to 263.8 lbs (Sep 24th), but then I freaked out again.

Freaked out as in got emotional, got frustrated (water weight due to having sodium via beef broth & therefore messing up my official weigh-in) and had a hormonal wonky day where I was so mad one second and wanted to cry the next (sounds JUST like PMS, but the timing was wrong).
And then yesterday… I answered EVERY food whim I had.
This is rare.

For breakfast I just got it in my mind to have pancakes.  I would normally ignore this impulse, but I made pancakes.  I barely got to 16 hours fasted.  I had to make them in a sneaky manner as not to alert my hubby I was making something I know he enjoys, but can’t eat at the moment.  I was almost done and at the point of eating, but sharing with the baby who was sitting next to him (he was on the couch watching TV) in her highchair, gave it away and he noticed.  Whoops.
That was bad enough… a large plate of oily (because I basically fry them in oil), crispy pancakes with fake sugary syrup.  Ugh… just typing that makes me feel ill, but they were good going down.
But it didn’t stop there.
When I was making my daughter some dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets (something I do frequently as they are her new addiction and sometimes they smell SO GOOD, but I hadn’t had chicken nuggets in a LONG time) and decided to make myself some as well.  I would usually hem and haw, try to talk myself out of it, etc. but the choice seemed so casual… like, yeah, I’ll have some too… no debate, no pause asking ‘should I?’.
I sat down right in front of my hubby, who looked at me strange when he saw I had 6 nuggets and a glob of ranch dressing & a glob of BBQ sauce on my plate because even he realized this was out of character for me.
They were awful.  Not worth it.
I wasn’t done there.
On the way home from a shopping excursion, the whole family was thirsty and everyone had already took part in devouring the water I’d brought and there was no more left.  Our purchase was hanging out of our car, the back gate open, my passenger side window broke and was stuck down, so we were avoiding the highway and taking the much longer back roads home, so we opted to stop at a gas station and buy some drinks.
I could have just gotten water, but my kids were getting juice or flavored tea and I LOVE peach tea.  They didn’t have any sugar-free versions, so for the first time since I don’t know when, I got the full sugar kind.  It was SO GOOD… too good.  I drank that so fast.
I wasn’t done there either.

I had lobster ravioli for dinner.  In general, I avoid pasta, but especially ravioli or tortellini because I have a hard time keeping my portions small with those.
I went back for seconds.  This *was* worth it.

But this is when the stomachache started.  Well, more of a lower intestinal ache… I think those pancakes were landing HARD.
Even with the ache, I got on my brand-new bike and tried it out (we’d spent hours at Dick’s Sporting Goods).  Then tried out the kid tow attachment we got to go with our new bikes.  My two girl’s combined weight is 85 lbs.  I circled the entire neighborhood towing them.
I was out of breath and my legs were jello when I was done.
I drank down some water, sat & relaxed a hit and then got the kids to bed, then hubby to bed and then I was left alone to my own devices.

The ache had gone away.  I felt full (as I should be!) and yet… I was watching a movie and wanted popcorn.
I had one of those ‘well I’ve already screwed up today anyway, might as well live it up and have whatever’ moments.
So, I ate popcorn… with extra melted butter.
I don’t know why that wasn’t sufficient, but it wasn’t.
I now wanted a quesadilla.  So, I made one and enjoyed it with a small bowl of salsa to dip it in.
Well now I had spicy breath and wanted something sweet.  Our house is limited on sweet choices, but we had sugar-free, fat-free pudding cups, so I had 2.

Then… I was *finally* done.
You have to understand that for YEARS now, I’d only have one of those off plan items in a given day (or just not at all)… not so many of them all in one day!
I haven’t eaten so poorly and complied with all of my food whims like that since 2013 when I was in the middle of a sleep deprivation & breastfeeding haze, on my way to gaining 60 lbs, before I set the 10 lb regain rule.

This can’t be more of ‘getting it all in before I can’t eat it anymore’ because it’s no longer ‘before surgery’… that has passed… excuse over, but that is where these issues all started.  Those “last meals” before my hubby’s surgery totally reverted me back to old behavior and it’s like I haven’t been able to truly shake it.
I was reminded of old me… how yummy certain foods were that I’d been avoiding for so long.  It was like giving an alcoholic a glass of beer.

Apparently, I was ‘back on the wagon’ for 5 days, then had a bad day and bam, yesterday was the alcoholic equivalent of getting hammered at a local bar.

I thought I’d be in all sorts of control with my hubby’s food choices no longer at conflict with mine.  He was never a huge saboteur or anything, but there were a few times I’d be sticking to a diet and he’d just *mention* pizza and I’d want it.  He got better with this in the last few years while I got better at ignoring my own food noise in my head.
So when the thought of him having bariatric surgery came up, I thought it was going to be the answer to it all.  After YEARS of trying to lose weight alone, I was tired of being the only one.  I thought my partner being in the same mindset and working on his own goals would be the difference of me sticking to it longterm and finally hitting some major goals.
I think it’s rocked my world and shook me to the core that apparently my hubby’s choices and his journey were having zero affect on me.  I usually follow suit to the nearest adult, but his small eating habits haven’t rubbed off at all!
At the very least I should finally be able to just continue my journey without any interference from him, yet I haven’t been able to hardly get started.  Wth?

Oh gawd.  That’s a scary realization.

Will this be the last time I have a day *this* bad?  Can it be?

I have to stop giving in to every whim.
I must cut the habit of movie equaling popcorn.
I have to stop thinking messing up at 1 meal equals messing up the whole day.
I have to fix my head again to realize it’s a matter of being in control, not deprivation.
I have to think about my A1C and how low I’d gotten it and that not eating/drinking sugar helps my body get to that number.
I have to remember my goals… those capris in the closet I can’t wait to fit back into, my anniversary coming up that I bought a smaller sized t-shirt to fit into for (it’s says ‘wifey’), wanting to be smaller for the neighborhood ornament exchange in December, healthier for our planned family vacation in the spring.
I have to remember that my hubby is melting in front of me and I need to keep up with him and all the unhealthy foods and/or portions are just delays to that goal.

He finally got to the stage where his weight loss is becoming more noticeable, so maybe that triggered my freak out as well because it was a reminder I’m not doing so well these days.
A co-worker told him to get a new wardrobe because his clothes were looking baggy.
As of this morning he was 368 lbs.  That’s 62 lbs down total, 32 lbs since the surgery.

This also means that as of this morning, the weight gap between us is less than 100 lbs.
Why is this significant?  Because for the majority of our almost 18 years of marriage, there has always been a 100 lb (or more) gap between my weight and his.

I guess I took comfort in the fact that no matter how big I got, my hubby would always be significantly bigger.  Now that he’s gotten the surgery, that is clearly not the case anymore.
I’ve lost my buffer.

I’ve also lost the default person to eat the naughty foods people give to us.  So many times we’ve been given food over the years that I don’t touch and I could always count on him to ‘take the hit’ and eat it (he never minded).  He can’t be that for me anymore and it’s usually things my kids aren’t interested in, so that leaves me.  I really hate throwing away perfectly good food, but I might have to start learning to get over this (you’d think our families, friends and neighbors would be more sensitive to our goals of better health and not give us such things, but nope… can’t count on that).

So as you can see, my partner getting a bariatric surgery changes way more than just his weight.  It is changing the dynamic of how I’ve dealt with dieting, with food, with how I feel about myself in relation to his size.  It is all changing and I need to change to.

Today I will attempt to take back control.
Since I ate so late, it would take until 2:45pm to get to 16 hours fasted.  Not sure I’ll go that long, but I’m going to try to stick it out as long as I can.  Meanwhile, I’m drinking down lots of water to wash away the crap of yesterday.
Then when I do eat, back to the healthy choices and portions.

I HAVE to do something NOW.  There is no more waiting, no more postponing, no more procrastinating.  I’ve hit my max and can only go down from here.
I know the misery there is to come if I don’t make these changes.  I will be fatter, I will feel fatter, my blood sugars will get worse and I’ll officially become diabetic, my clothes won’t fit anymore, I will have a bad attitude and be pissy.  I will have no libido. I won’t want to leave the house even more than I already don’t like to. I won’t be a nice mommy or as involved/willing to help my kids and everyone SUFFERS when I don’t feel good about myself.
Is food worth that?

Maybe I should get that stitched on a pillow or something.

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Mommy’s Social Anxiety

My 4-year-old daughter has this small stuffed dog with a cute pink dog crate that has buttons you push and each says something different & light up.
My daughter named the dog Tracey.Tracey the dog in crate .jpg
My daughter is very practiced at playing independently and getting lost in her own imaginative world.  I’ve watched her time and time again giving whatever characters she’s playing with (plastic Little People, My Little Pony figurines, stuffed animals, etc.) names, personalities and complete storylines she acts out.
Sometimes she’s doing this inside, sometimes she goes outside and plays in the sand pit she created.
She is so good at entertaining herself.

Being a mom with social anxieties, I couldn’t appreciate this more.  I make a point to breed kids who can play independently.  Their ability to do this makes me feel a little less guilty that we aren’t off taking a trip to the library, a play group or some mommy & me class.
I just don’t want to leave the house alone (read: only adult) unless I absolutely have to.
It’s always been this way and I guess she must be used to it.

When her father is home and is the one to drive us, we go out to the playground once in a while and I’m more than happy to take a walk with my kids in the small neighborhood in which we live and I actually know my neighbors.
But I see how other moms are – going out EVERY day to do… something.
That would wear on me.  In addition to anxiety, I’m also an introvert.  Going out and interacting with the world drains me and I have to come home to recharge.
My hubby doesn’t judge me.  My sister understands.  My mom gets it. My kids seem to understand.

Are there times I deny them something just because it involves leaving the house?  Yeah, I’ve done that.  But it doesn’t happen often because they don’t even ask.
And for the times it does happen, I’d like to think that the activity I offer as a replacement at home or the spontaneous trips to the store or playground when their daddy is around helps make up for that.

So my daughter’s toy dog’s crate has this common line it always says first, so you hear it a LOT from this toy.  There was this one day in particular that it kept being set off (it was laying on its side, depressing the button in the carpet).
It says:
“Are we going somewhere exciting today?”
Then I heard the answer that has echoed in my head ever since.
My daughter, who was nearby but not playing with that toy at the time, kept responding, “No Tracey!”
It was in a way like her tone was like, duh, of course we’re not going anywhere because we hardly ever do, silly dog!
She was telling her toy no like I might tell her no.  But the thing is, she’s never really asked to leave during the day when she’s at home with me.
She sees shows about kids going to the library and she doesn’t ask to go.
Sees kids going to the playground, she doesn’t ask to go.
Is she content to play at home in her room, playroom or backyard and not leave?  Or does she just know we’ve never done that, so we probably won’t… not even knowing exactly why that is?
I’ll probably never know.
But her response… every time she’s not around and I accidentally set that toy off and hear it ask “Are we going somewhere exciting today?” I hear my daughter’s voice answer no.
And I have to wonder if my social anxieties and introvert nature are holding my child back.
And could I ever change?
It’s no secret I’m not happy with my body as it is now, but I’m trying to change that.
There have been times I was smaller and therefore prouder of myself with more self-esteem and did I get out more?  Yes, I actually did.  Maybe not as much as those moms I was talking about earlier, but I was certainly more willing to get out of the house… in general.
I will always be anxiety ridden every time I have to go somewhere unfamiliar and I’m the only adult… always.  Wouldn’t matter if I was size 20 or size 2, but being smaller and happier with myself sure gave me more confidence.

So maybe we could go somewhere exciting Tracey… someday.  In the meantime, I’m glad my daughter is attending preschool where she can get the socialization she may not have even knew she needed.

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Post-Surgery Update

It has now been 20 days since my husband’s gastric sleeve procedure.  Not only did he have that procedure done, he ended up having a hiatal hernia repair, a liver biopsy and some lipoma removed.  He is doing well and is now down 28 lbs.  At his follow-up the doctor said his weight loss to that point was above average, so he was pleased.  Nothing bad in the biopsy results either (thank goodness).
I was having a tough time in my last post and that was still BEFORE his surgery.  It was a bummer that even afterward, it continued.
I just couldn’t get my head straight.  Several stressors were involved [being the only capable parent (him healing and being unable to lift the baby), prep & having a yard sale, prep for hurricane Irma which oops, never came our way after all], but once those cleared, I still couldn’t get right.

Only upon being accepted into an online support group for bariatric surgery spouses and venting my woes, I realized I was NOT ALONE in my struggles.
Several people commented how they have been struggling with their weight issues since their husbands had surgery.  One woman’s husband was down 95 lbs and she’s hadn’t lost a pound.

I swear to you, the minute I had that support and figured out I wasn’t the only one, it was like the weight was lifted and I was able to take back control.
So I basically got nowhere in 2 weeks post-surgery, but that all changed on the 20th.
After that, I’ve hit 18 hours (or more) fasted every day, daily exercise (mostly fasted), have drank 100 oz of water or more every day, and have been making good food choices.
In just 4 days effort, I was down 4 lbs.
I was getting so excited for my official weigh-in day (today) – I thought I could FINALLY hit “new territory”, but was sadly disappointed with only a 2.2 lb loss from the week prior.
Why?  Because I had some extra sodium in my meal (beef broth in recipes 2 dinners in a row).  Well, that did it.  Stupid over sensitive body to sodium.  You’d think drinking about 140 oz of water would help flush that out, but apparently not soon enough.

In my disappointment today, unfortunately I let it affect my decisions. It sucks because I KNOW it’s water weight and it will eventually come off, but I couldn’t help but get a bit of a ‘fuck it’ attitude and just wanted a less intense “trying” day.
Yet I still made it to 18 hours fasted, I still exercised, I still drank lots of water.  So, what did I do?  I had popcorn (the food I got out of control with until the 20th) and made some no-bake cookies (chocolate/peanut butter/oats).  I used Stevia instead of sugar and the chocolate comes from unsweetened powder, so they aren’t actually *that* bad in the grand scheme of cookies.
But still… just having those “off” items makes me *feel* like I was rather… naughty, for lack of a better word.

But then, as I took my nightly walk with my now 13-month-old daughter, I looked down and saw that although I wasn’t intentionally sucking in my upper belly, it looked like I was!  Even after those cookies and dinner including mashed potatoes (haven’t eaten that in over 3 months!), I looked smaller.
Even my shadow looked better to me.

It was then I felt hopeful again.  I have been making strides and putting in effort and as long as I continue, I will see progress.  I MUST remember this.
I can’t let some sodium and a bad weigh-in get me down.
I was actually toying with the idea of going to a 20 hour fast.  I did make it to 19.5 hours fasted the other day (it was an accident… I got distracted and time just flew by).
The longer I go without eating, the shorter my eating ‘window’ which makes it easier to stick to a smaller calorie range.

It is hard not to think about going to extremes just to have a quicker weight loss right now.  It didn’t used to be, but now I feel pressure because my hubby is losing fast and I don’t want to be left in the dust.
I have to let 1-2 lbs per week be ENOUGH.  It is… that’s the healthy way to lose.  I KNOW this, but I wish I could let the competitive side of my brain get the message!
I’m just feeling so impatient right now.
I had the quick thought about only eating what my hubby eats (mostly protein shakes)… just sipping throughout the day.  But I’m sure I’d feel hungry and unsatisfied since my stomach isn’t only 2 oz large like his is right now.  And I wouldn’t be able to do a long fast like that.
Crazy thoughts.
I just need to continue the controlled behavior I exhibited the last 5 days and go that route.  I mean I was practically going down 1 lb per day until that sodium!  That’s amazing, right?
Ugh.  HELLO ME!!!  CHILL!!!  Just get back at it and BE PATIENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will be OK.
I will be OK.

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Somebody Stop Me!!!

What started as a few “last meals” before my husband goes under the knife to shrink his stomach (gastric sleeve), has unfortunately become days of me eating not-so-great choices on days that were supposed to be “recovery” days.
After our big Rioz night (because an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steakhouse is not an option when your stomach will only be 4 oz large), we had 2 recovery days before another “last meal” which was Chinese.
I was ON POINT for those 2 days… low carb, lots of water and fasted exercise.  In just 2 days, I dropped 6.2 pounds!
Then the Chinese happened.  As predicted, weight gain the next day.  No biggie, I expected that.  But something in my head shifted.
Maybe it was scariness of us hitting the final days… that that was supposed to be the last of the big “last meals”… leaving nothing to “look forward” to in the future.  I did plan for a big breakfast-for-dinner night as well, but that was mostly protein & fat… not far from how I’ve been eating normally.

But every day since and leading up to that I just keep making bad choices.  Recovery days become more days I need to recover from… having Smartfood, corned beef hash, not enough water, no fasted exercise, a Snickers bar, one last Subway order, Ben & Jerry’s and some other things I’m sure I’m not remembering.
In 6 days I’ve gone down 4 lbs, down 2.2 lbs, up 2.6 lbs, up .4 lbs, down 2.6 lbs and then up 1.6 lbs this morning (Subway was yesterday).
Today was supposed to be back to recovery, but I’m like an eating machine!!!

I started off with a salad for breakfast (weird, I know, but my back hurt and I didn’t want to stand too long to prepare my food and it was a premade salad).
Not bad, but then I found myself finishing my son’s Ben & Jerry’s half-baked (3/4 of a pint) since last minute he disappeared to a friend’s house for a 3 night sleepover… leaving it unguarded.  LOL  (and it had been on my mind since last night… I just waited for a moment my hubby wasn’t in the room today)

Apparently that wasn’t enough, so since I totally forgot to include the corned beef hash with our breakfast for dinner night & hubby still wanted it, I made it plus some fried eggs for a “lunch” (it was almost 3pm).
We sat & watched a show (Botched) and I swear I was counting down the minutes for him to go back upstairs to his office (he’s working from home today) just so I could go eat something else!
I ended up having a big bowl of Smartfood.
I think I might finally feel “full”.
But I made this choice, knowing dinner tonight is steaks and garlic butter mini potatoes (a last minute “can we have these with the steak?” request hubby threw in while at the grocery store yesterday).  I don’t usually have so many carb/sugar hits in one day.
And who is going to have the pleasure of eating the leftovers of potatoes?  ME.  No one else.  Hubby only takes protein shakes for lunch at work and none of my kids like potatoes done that way.  Ugh.  I really hate the thought of just throwing them out.  I just haven’t made potatoes a regular thing back in my diet… yet.

I just feel very out of control lately.  In my home I’m an endless eating machine, but the minute I go outside in public (even in my own neighborhood, usually just in the front yard playing with the kids or going for a walk), I instantly regret any bad choices I’d made recently… I feel bigger, unhealthier, out of shape and that my clothes aren’t fitting well.  I just feel FAT.  And I feel a bit judged as some people in our ‘hood KNOW that hubby & I are on a diet, so I feel like they are always checking us out to see if they can see a difference. (Pressure, much?)
But put me back in the comfort and privacy of my home, and that feeling goes by the wayside.
No, my husband’s surgery hasn’t happened yet, but now I’m deathly afraid that this endless pit and lack of control will continue even afterwards.
Will I suddenly get my shit together and stop going crazy?  Am I just freaking out a bit and overcompensating for the changes and restrictions that are about to come?  Yes, I think so.

No, I’m not the one getting the surgery, but our whole family will be feeling & enduring the changes… we aren’t going to order in pizza or get takeout food that he can’t eat.  I even plan not to get any ice cream for at least the first 6 weeks when he can barely eat any food at all (mostly liquids).

So it’s kind of the classic “you can’t” and I react with “yes I can” and I do, even if it’s bad for me.  When will this immature reaction of mine ever stop happening???

Maybe I’m just drawing this out as long as conceivably possible… taking advantage of every day leading up to the surgery while I can because I have the understanding with myself that when surgery day comes, THAT’S IT.
But now I have true fears it won’t be it.  When my hubby is taking a nap upstairs while still recovering, will I be sneaking bowls of Smartfood or cereal or who knows what downstairs?  I really hope not.  That is NOT how it is supposed to play out.

I hope my fear of my hubby rapidly losing weight and visibly changing and looking better while I look the same or worse will kick in and engage my healthy competitive side for me to make big changes as well so we can change in a positive manner *together*.
Lord knows I would have resentment and jealousy if my hubby leaves me in the dust.  KNOWING THIS, I must keep my shit together after the surgery and truly make the changes I’ve been expecting and planning to make since we started this process months ago.

*I* have to stop me.  I can do this.  After all, we are taking our ‘in progress’ photo in just 2 days.  I really hope there is some improvement to our original picture we took back in late April.  My face & top belly being all bloated out from bad choices is totally going to ruin that.  Not cool.
Come on me… get your priorities straight.

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The Last Meals

In less than 2 weeks, my husband will be undergoing the gastric sleeve procedure.  He’s the third person in his family to have bariatric surgery.  He’s drinking mostly protein shakes these days, along with a normal dinner to help lose a little more weight to try to shrink his liver as much as possible.  His life is about to change drastically, but mine is too.
I stopped Keto just over a week ago (though am remaining lower carb, just not *that* low carb) and although I started to see the scale move again in the right direction, I’m not expecting much change in the next couple weeks.
Because of the “last meals”.
There are foods that will be off limits for my husband… some for life, some for at least a year if not longer.  It only seems fair you get one last time to enjoy them.  And they aren’t just the last meals for my hubby… they are MY last meals as well.
I’m not going to be ordering food and eating it in front of my husband who can’t eat anything I’m having.  I’m not going to cook up real bacon or sausage while he only gets the turkey version.  I rarely go out on my own, let alone for the sole purpose of getting food and sneaking it in before he comes home from work… that’s just not me.  So all these foods we’re enjoying for a last time are also a last time for me.

For my sister it was greasy Chinese and French cruller donuts.  My husband was rather slow to think of certain foods he might want to enjoy one last time.  All he could come up with was Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse, our favorite restaurant.  It’s all you can eat meat, and with a tiny pouch for a stomach in my hubby’s future, such a place would be a complete waste of money (and it’s expensive).  Shit, now we’ll need a new go-to for a favorite restaurant!
We have reservations to go this Sunday.  Beforehand, we are taking full advantage of a paid babysitter and are hitting a matinee first (we RARELY go to the movies) and he will be enjoying his favorite movie theater treat:  sour patch watermelons.  I’ll be getting popcorn (it just has a taste you can’t replicate at home) and some peanut M&Ms.

After letting him think a bit longer (and maybe offering some ideas because I really don’t want him to have any regrets), we came up with a few other “lasts”:
Delivery pizza.
We did this a couple nights ago.  It had been over 5 months since we ordered pizza delivery.  We didn’t even have anything with it… no cheezy bread, no brownie or cinnastix for dessert and hubby even skipped having a sugar-free soda.
He couldn’t finish his medium Uno pizza and complained later it ‘hit him hard’ (usually he could polish the whole thing off and not feel a thing).
I wish I could say the same, but I loved everything about the small margarita pizza I ate (for those not in the know, that’s tomato, mozzarella & fresh basil… so simply delicious) and it didn’t bother me AT ALL and the next morning the scale went DOWN (whaaaaaaaaaa??????????  Just the sheer weight of the food, plus the extra sodium… I was SHOCKED).  I guess having a low carb, low calorie day leading up to it really paid off.

We just had this tonight.  Unlike the pizza, this seems to be bothering me.  I feel blah and my upper stomach is seriously bloated and sticking out right now.
We skipped the mashed potato & gravy and just opted for the fries.  My hubby filled up on coleslaw before having a few pieces of chicken and he didn’t even finish his fries.  HE DIDN’T FINISH HIS FRIES!!!!  This is a FIRST people!  He ALWAYS finishes his fries!  I love the changes he’s been making and I’m so proud of him.  He could have really indulged (that’s the point), but is cutting corners to cut calories and limit the damage of one meal.  Good for him.
I’m not.
So far, I haven’t made a damn change with our last meals versus how I would normally eat it.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been living this life of trying to lose weight and do moderation a long time and learned to just really enjoy those ‘off’ meals.  I don’t go too nuts, but I don’t set limits either.

What else made the list?
Chinese.  This was the one thing we still ate while doing Keto as we ordered just the proteins, skipping the eggrolls, rice or lo mein.  My hubby got the dumplings, but only ate the meat inside.  He wants to be able to eat the whole thing one last time.  I’m not too excited about this one because I only want Chinese maybe 4 times per year and we already had it within the last month.  I will be getting sesame chicken & crab rangoons.

French Toast with Bacon & Sausage.
This will be this Saturday night’s dinner.  Bacon & sausage are on the no-no list for after surgery (only turkey versions are OK) and French toast is nothing but carbs and sugar (OK, there is protein in the egg coating, but who are we kidding?) and adding syrup as well?  Nope, this is not a quality food that is something he won’t eat again for probably the next couple years.
I’ll be having my usual edited version… only 1 slice French toast with honey instead of syrup (just not a fan of real maple syrup and I know that should be a crime, especially since I lived in Vermont) and instead, fill up on eggs, bacon & sausage.  Something so sugary just spikes my blood sugar and I really don’t like that feeling that gives me, so this is one thing I do not indulge in, no matter what.

And that’s it.
Every other meal will be our usual healthy, low carb choices.  I NEED them to be to not have these indulgences equal weight gain.  As it is, each time I eat like that, my weight can be off for days and take me that long to recover (that pizza result was such a fluke!).

So, this is why I’m not expecting much movement on the scale for the next couple weeks.
After my husband’s surgery?  That’s a different story!
We (me & the kids) will be having a lot of salmon for dinner (something my hubby doesn’t like) as he’s limited to only 2 oz of mostly liquids and then soft foods for the first few weeks and I don’t want to be eating foods I know he loves during those times.
I also have to get serious about getting that scale to move because otherwise my hubby is going to leave me in the dust!
I want us to shrink together.
I want people to look at us 6 months or a year from now and say “which one of you had the surgery?” because we’ve both lost a noticeable amount of weight.
There will be no ordering takeout or delivery.  Meals will be smaller (I bought smaller, dark colored plates to help with portion control without looking like there is barely food on the plate).  Sure, my stomach wasn’t surgically altered like his, but there’s no reason I can’t shrink my own portions.

I am one of those people that is susceptible and influenced by the actions of those who are around me the most.  I have countless examples of this over the course of my life, but don’t feel like typing them all out.
It works both in a positive manner (copying good habits like drinking more water), but unfortunately in a negative manner as well (copying the food choices or portions of my significant other).
So, if my hubby is no longer having a huge plate of food, that will rub off on me.  He will also be prioritizing protein and veggies over simple carbs.
I’ve joked that if I were put in a house with women who were fit, ate healthy and worked out daily and they were my only influence, in a year I would leave that house as a fit, healthy woman who worked out daily.  Seriously, that’s how my personality works.
Sometimes even *watching* TV programs with such women gets me off the couch and making better choices for the rest of the day!

So big changes are to come… just not the next couple weeks!  I’m excited for our future.  I’m super proud of my hubby for making this HUGE change and am so far impressed by his dedication over the last few months (seriously, I had more times of wavering off plan than he did!!!).
We will enjoy our last meals and move on to our new way of life.

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