The Chicken or the Egg?

I’ve always been fat. I’ve always  been funny. I’ve always been outgoing. I find myself wondering, at times if I developed my sense of humor and personality because I was fat or was it the other way around.

Yes I was bullied, made fun of, and suffered years of emotional abuse. But I always felt like I could fit in anywhere. Well, maybe not the juniors section of Macy’s lol.

I’ve always had friends. Wasn’t much of a partier growing up, had a few boyfriends here and there early on in my young adult life. I do think that my weight and lack of self esteem made me make poor choices in my late teens and early 20’s, and here I am, finally at the age of 37 realizing my worth and being totally secure and fine with being single. I want to and need to focus on myself.

I dated a guy from Aug 2014-March 2015 where i put all of his needs before mine. He was a shitty boyfriend. When I realized I could have done better and deserved more from someone who said he loved me, I should have just bowed out. Instead I over compensated for many things and even put surgery on the back burner. Although I knew I deserved better, the break-up still devastated me and I’m still sorry to this day that I didn’t take the steps in taking care of me and only me when i needed it.

I almost feel selfish, only focusing on myself & my own needs, but I think it’s about gosh darned time that I do.

I’m not even going to delve into the 3 month relationship i had from June – August with a total sociopath who thought he was getting yet another fat chick with low self esteem. We’ll save that story for another time.

So I often wonder, was I fat because of my past self esteem issues (late teens early 20’s) or was the self esteem a part of being fat. Ya know, kind of like the chicken/egg question. What made me who i am today.  And will i ever find someone who understands me how i need to be understood,  someone who is empathetic to what it’s like to be on this journey? Or will i just live the rest of my life focusing on me and only me?

My Little Meltdown

I’m writing this though tears. Do you know how awesome it is to be in so much pain that you chew a vicodin? I do. I just did it and it was not pleasant. I sit here with my dinner before me, looking at the clock, waiting for 7:41 so I can start to eat.

I’m crying for so many reasons. Mainly the pain in my knees. Pain, so severe that I barely made it up 6 steps to go upstairs to get my vicodin.

I started to prepare dinner for myself around 6. Halfway through I could feel the pain building up. But I pushed through it, drinking my water while making my dinner. While my dinner was cooking I made another meal. Put all three pots in the sink and started bawling my eyes out.

Today I had a lot of energy, so I ran many errands. Doctors office (I parked a block away so I could walk more), Trader Joe’s (same deal, but not parking close to the entrance), home, up and down steps, ate lunch, took care of some important paperwork, back upstairs for stamps, out to the post office, cleaned out some of my car, back inside the house, emptied dishwasher, back upstairs, and that’s when I decided to rest a bit. But I couldn’t get comfortable. I wasn’t tired so I wasn’t trying to sleep. I talked to my Mom, and then my niece. Before I knew it, it was 5:45 so i decided to head downstairs to feed the cat. I was still talking to my niece so I decided to prepare dinner at the same time. I scored and blanched grape tomatoes from the garden, peeled and cut up some zucchini, and browned some 99% fat free ground turkey. I was still drinking water so i knew i had to wait half an hour before i could eat. I added strings from a cheese stick to my zucchini dish and measured out a half cup for my dinner, added a tsp of ricotta, and put the rest away. I finished making the other dish (mac and cheese), put the pots and pans in the sink and that’s when a whoosh of emotion just hit me.

I had the surgery. But I still have this f***ing knee pain. And I’m not drinking my 60 ounces of fluid a day. I’m timing everything. When I eat, when I can drink again, and then when I can eat again. I’m getting my meals in which is great, but it’s a struggle.

I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to sugar coat anything. This is f***ing hard. And as I’ve said, it’s easy to be fat. But then again let’s be honest here; there’s nothing NOTHING easy about being fat. The sweating, the looks from strangers, the comments from little kids, the fear of breaking yet another toilet seat, the pain….both physical and mental. There is nothing fun or easy about being fat. And it’s being fat that got me to where I am. I didn’t blame anyone but myself. Sure I have underlying health issues and genetics that I’m fighting, but I’m the one who looked at food as the only positive thing in my life. I’ve learned through therapy that food is not the enemy. And it never was.

I joked about writing a book and calling it “Dont Let Your Kids Get Fat.” A little harsh, I know. But after tonight and the day I’ve had, it just really hit me what really got me to this point. I know I did the right thing, getting the gastric bypass. I was more afraid not to get it done.

So while I’m all for acceptance of all bodies, shapes, and sizes, I’m even more for being healthy. I don’t blame my parents, relatives, teachers, friends, or food. I blame myself. I think we should all love ourselves no matter how loud the voices in our head can get at times. However, when the pain and frustration of being fat get louder than those voices, then it’s time to think about what matters more. You do.

Onto Stage 2!

Yesterday I had my one week post op visit at my surgeon’s office. The surgeon who performed my surgery is on vacation so I went to see one of his associates. I couldn’t wait to be taken back and hop on that scale. Never before have I had those thoughts!!

The day I was discharged from the hospital, I weighed myself on one of their scales. I was 360. Okay, no biggie. To me it was just informative. I JUST had the surgery 2 days prior so it wasn’t like the weight was going to melt away in 2 days. I just wanted to see what my current weight was. My surgeon’s office goes on what you weighed at the last visit. For me, I go on what my weight was on my very first visit in the office, when I had my initial consultation. On May 12, 2015 I was 381. Yesterday, when I stepped on, I was 348.

Usually the surgeon will ask that you lose a certain amount of weight before your surgery. This makes it safer for you and the surgeon. I get it. Plus, I think they want to make sure you’re totally committed. Yes I got to go to one of my favorite sushi/seafood buffets, and I was also taken out by my boyfriend at the time to a Brazilian Steakhouse. So while I am still able to go back to my sushi/seafood place, I at least crossed the Brazilian Steakhouse off of my bucket list. And man, that place was awesome. So while I did not lose the 30-40lbs as my surgeon asked me to, he still did the surgery.

Two weeks prior to surgery most docs put you on a special diet. Two out of the three meals a day are a protein shake made with 8oz of water, skim milk, 1% milk, or even unsweetened almond milk (which I didn’t even touch because of there only being 1g of protein). Then for a third meal they want you to eat sensibly. I usually did the shakes for breakfast or dinner. I found it was much easier to do it for dinner as there was less clean up and dishes at the end of the night. Plus, I was able to break up the shakes with a meal. And if you know me, you know I love my salads! Their suggestion was a small salad with no croutons, 1 c. of cooked veggies, and 4oz. of protein (meat/cheese). I jumped on the protein shake thing long before the 2 week diet. Because of my inability to be mobile and actually exercise or walk much, I wanted to accelerate the weight loss. So I’d do a shake here and there. Believe me, I think it helped.

Now I find that I am somewhat of the oddball here when it comes to these shakes. A high percentage of these protein powders that you use for the shakes are made with Sucralose, which is Splenda. I found out over a year ago that my body can no longer tolerate sucralose, so I have been avoiding it. It ruins my stomach and I’m pooping water for about 6 hours. I have irritable bowel syndrome, so I had to add Sucralose to the list of things that make me run to the bathroom. It was difficult finding a protein powder or already made shakes that weren’t made with Sucralose. Even the muscle milk tubs had it in them! Fortunately for me, one day I was in Costco and stumbled upon a brand called Orgain. Granted it’s plant proteins, but let me tell you, it sure as hell worked for me. I do believe that Muscle Milk does have already made Organic shakes and those are made with Stevia extract. I compared prices and went with Orgain. The tub was $29.99 for 2.74lbs. Not a bad deal. And last month it was on sale for $24.99. Even better! Now mind you, I am on food stamps and have no income (will go into more detail in future postings), so the only way food stamps cover the powder was if it said Nutritional Facts and not Supplement Facts. I am very fortunate that all of these powders say Nutritional Facts, as most of them are a meal replacement. I also found another brand called Designer Whey. That brand is made with Stevia. Now you also have to be on the lookout for ingredients that end it “itol,” as it may give you gas and diarrhea. In my case, the Orgain only gave me extra gas.

So back to my visit yesterday. Before I stepped on the scale, I tried to seduce it, asking it to be good to me. I stepped on and boom! 348lbs! I went from all the great decades to now the 40’s. While the 80’s were a great decade, being 381 isn’t great at all…. unless you’re 7’9″ tall.

I was super excited. I was down 15.8lbs since my last visit which was Friday, August 7th. I was more than okay with that. What I wasn’t okay with was the fact that my jeans were dropping off of my ass. For a big girl, sadly, I lack junk in the trunk. So by the time I got home, I needed to change into something with an elastic waist, so I raided my old work clothes for black pants. Thankfully I have a ton of them. So until I am able to afford new pants/jeans, I will look like my bottom half is in mourning.

I saw the doctor and he started me on Stage 2 of post surgery eating. I am still able to eat the stuff from Stage 1 (Sugar Free Jell-O, fat free broths, unflavored protein powder, and sugar free unflavored drinks such as Crystal Light). Stage 2 allows skim or 1% milk, unsweetened almond milk, fat free yogurts with no fruit chunks, no sugar added applesauce, sugar substitutes (I go with Great Value Stevia), and Sugar Free pudding. I had a great time last night making the pudding. I added banana extract and unflavored protein powder to the chocolate pudding & strawberry extract to the white chocolate pudding. I stay away from vanilla flavored items. Ever since my first vanilla protein shake, I just can’t enjoy the taste.

I was cleared to drive and start my vitamins. I will do an entire blog post about vitamins. Oh that’s gonna be fun. But for now I will say that in addition to the supplements I already take I have started an Adult Chewable Multivitamin and Calcium Citrate. I crush the Calcium Citrate pills because I was unable to find them in chewable at a reasonable price. Now, don’t get these confused with the Caltrate Chewies that come in that little pouch. I need to inquire further on the difference between the two and why the Dietitian/Surgeon suggest the Citrate and not the Caltrate.

So pretty much that’s what went on yesterday with my one week post surgery follow up appointment. I go back in 2 weeks, but next Tuesday I have an appointment with my Dietitian.

Just a little insight of life one week post gastric bypass surgery!



Designer Protein

One Week Ago…

A week ago tonight I was heading to bed, about to have my life changed forever. Tomorrow will be a week since I’ve had my gastric bypass surgery. I can’t begin to describe how different I feel after one week. Christ, I felt different by the evening of my surgery!! The next day I felt reborn, thrust back into this world with a second chance. I survived the surgery. That was my first fear. That was the main fear that has kept me from getting this sooner. I’ve was thinking about getting the surgery for just about 10 years. Better late than never, right?

I used to think that weight loss surgery was the easy way out. I often talk about Cape May 2005. It was me, Rachel, and Suzanne at the shopping center, standing outside of a store waiting for Rachel’s sister to come out. We were suddenly approached by a woman with a big, friendly smile. “Oh just look at you girls, how pretty you all are,” she said as she came up to us. In my head I thought she was just being nice. But when she asked us if any of us had considered weightloss surgery, she hit a nerve with me. I don’t remember what I said to her but basically I told her to fuck off and that it’s none of her business. At the time I worked at a dental office and I equated her comment with me, going up to someone with bad teeth and handing them my office’s business card. See, the three of us, along with Rachel’s sister, were like the fat version of Sex & The City but mainly it was 3 Charlotte’s and me (a mix of Carrie & Samantha). We’ll get into the dynamics of having fat friends later on. Now, with that lady coming up to us like that, I could never see myself doing that EVER, but looking back now, I know why she did. I can relate now. I’m sorry I gave her attitude. I’m sorry I was in denial. Denial, thinking that I can lose weight on my own without the need of medical intervention. I was so sure of myself back then. Boy did THAT change.

So in this last week, I have noticed changes in me. Changes that I never thought I’d see and feel.

Here’s to another week of changes.

Tomorrow I see my surgeon for my one week post op check. I’m only on week one, but I know I have a lifetime to go on this journey and I thank you for accompanying me!


Gee, where do I even start?

I will start with why I am here.

There are a ton of weight-loss blogs. Blogs that help you do it on your own, blogs that help you decide if weight-loss surgery is for you, or a blog like this, one where I am just going to talk about my journey. My journey of almost 38 years that got me to this point. The point of needing weight-loss surgery to help me live again.

I want to let people know that everyone’s story is different. This is my story. Why I waited so long to do this, what my life experiences have taught me, and what I am going through now after having the surgery.

I had a gastric bypass on Wednesday August 19, 2015. Yeah, that was 6 days ago and I’m already blogging? Well, you see, the old me would get bored and eat. I still need to take it easy, so I can’t go crazy and overdo it. And as you will find out, I have one big major hurdle in my life that is here, despite me already having the surgery. I can’t move too much or for too long. So instead of sitting in front of a computer or on my bed watching Netflix or taking a nap, I am starting this blog. I have my iTunes on shuffle and I am ready to let my thoughts flow from my brain, down to my fingertips and out onto my keyboard. I have been sitting here for 50 minutes and already my butt hurts, so I will keep this short.

This is a short intro to what you can expect from my blog. Honesty, openness, emotion, humor, and truth. I hope you’re ready, because I am. It took me long enough!