33-Percent, Possibly?

Today I make another journey to Las Vegas to see my surgeon.  It’s my two-week post-op appointment.  It’s the last time I will see him until June.

Yesterday, however, I was a snarling, bitchy mess of a human being.  I was mean and angry when I’m rarely so.

Water weight.  Puffy fingers and ankles  and having to take Lasix coupled with feeling let down by my body will do it every time.  Hey, I’m human.  But, I do owe my hubs another apology.

I also weighed more than I did last week at my IV infusion appointment so I was dreading, dreading, dreading facing my surgeon.

“But, I’ve been being good,” I whimpered as I stepped off the scale.

Yes, I weigh daily because I can gain up to 20lbs of water in less than 24 hours without ‘feeling’ it.  Daily weigh-ins can be emotional but for me they are also an extremely necessary tool.

The scale revealed my body is still up to her same ol’ tricks.  My TSH is a wee bit high so wee bit that my doctor didn’t want to change medications just yet.  Umm, nope buddy. So on Wednesday he and I are going to have a meeting of the minds about how to move forward.  For my whack-a-doddle thyroid too much medication means water retention and snarling, bitchiness.  I’m convinced my body can only do one thing at a time.  Retain water OR lose weight.  I’m not going to spend the next three months battling…

But, I digress (I don’t want this to be a thyroid rant)…

So, I took the dammed-able Lasix like a good lil’ girl…Oh how I hate the stuff…the doc and I are going to work on that too and POOF the puffy disappears and a little weight loss is revealed.  And, yes I do believe it is actual weight loss because I also took my measurements over the weekend.  So far I have lost 9.5 inches.

When I put my weight into MyFitnessPal it gave me a little congratulatory message…

You Have Lost 24 Pounds

Wait?

What?

I’ve done what?

I honestly didn’t believe it so I pulled out my calculator and started doing the math myself.

Whoa….dude….(lots of stunned, hard blinking)!

Now since I do not have nor will I ever again have a goal weight, I let myself go back to this post which followed an appointment with an endocrinologist for some perspective.

If I use the calculations from that endocrinologist for an appropriate weight for me, then I am just slightly over 33-percent of the way to that weight.

33-PERCENT!!!!!!!!!

Since I don’t have a goal weight that percentage isn’t really real but I needed the shot of perspective.

But, I’m NOT about a number on the scale.  But, I am all about keeping my wits about me through this journey and yesterday I stunk it up big time in that regard.

Reaching 30-percent body fat, that’s my real goal.  Then my plan is to assess my body and health from there.  If I can whittle my body fat down while being fully, wholly, head-to-toe, inside-out healthy well then that would be awesome sauce.  If I can’t, then I will have more mental work to do either on my own or with a professional.  Losing myself in the numbers is simply not part of my plan.  It’s why I work extremely hard to make sure I’m keeping it as real as possible along the way.

Thanks to all these checks and balances I’ve set up for myself I can walk into my surgeon’s office with my head held high.

I could be 1/3 of the way to my vision of a healthy body and that is worth a smile or two.

 

 

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Spa Day…Ahh!

I am taking a few hours this morning to pamper myself.  Honestly, it’s been a long time…too long…since I indulged so completely.

And, yes…I do mean hours.

On today’s spa menu:

Hot oil hair conditioning treatment
Bentonite clay facial
Pedicure with pretty polish (See note below)
Victoria’s Secret lotion (but not everywhere the scents are so strong…lol)
Full hair and makeup
Cute outfit and accessories

Why?

Because I’m worth it.

And, the last few weeks have been dramatic.

Post-op has also meant I have been schlepping around the house in baggy clothes and my beloved cotton candy pink Crocs (yep, I’m a huge fan) so I need to take the time to remember someday soon my belly won’t be tender and it’s okay to wear ‘real’ clothes.  Besides, Easter’s next weekend and we’re having a picnic with some of my hubs family and weather permitting I’m wearing sandals so I can take them off and stick my toes in the bright Spring grass.

Plus, the hot oil treatment is great for my hair.  It won’t prevent hair loss but a healthy scalp and supple hair is going to survive much better than if I just sit here doing nothing on this fine Saturday morning.

I also do not want to get so caught up in this new chapter of my weight loss journey that I lose sight of the fact that there is so much more to the journey than the numbers on the scale.

The Weighing Healthy thing to do is to take care of my whole body.

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to pamper yourself?

If that’s hard for you to do…Here…

I give YOU permission to pamper…Now GO!

How To Hot Oil:

  1. GENTLY!!!! warm olive or coconut oil. 
  2. Brush hair well and section long hair for easier application.
  3. Massage oil into scalp and work out to tips one section at a time
  4. Cover with plastic cap
  5. Soak for at least one hour
  6. If desired, periodically warm head with hair dryer (usually necessary in the winter)
  7. Shampoo and condition as normal with QUALITY products…post WLS is no time for cheap hair care products that damage anyone’s hair.  Love your hair and it will love you back.
  8. Style as desired or do something totally crazy and unexpected for heaven’s sake because life is way too short for boring, dull, drab, lifeless hair!!!!
  9. In the spirit of Step 8, I decided to abandon the toe polish for today and work in some temporary purple streaks into my hair.
  10. ***Note…I keep a bottle of olive oil in my bathroom cabinet.  To use I heat water in a measuring cup in the microwave and then plop the bottle in for 15 or so minutes before use.  REMEMBER if the oil bottle is glass to temper it under running water first so you don’t have a hot oil explosion on your hands.  Heavy commercial plastic bottles should be thick enough to not melt using this method but I have never tried it.  I avoid plastics wherever possible.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had this post finished yesterday (Saturday) and just wanted to let it sit before posting.  Of course, obviously, I got busy making ‘Cabo San Lucas Day’ Kahula Rice Pudding and chicken soft tacos with homemade pico de gallo and rounded out with cheesy refried beans and fresh creamy avocado because now it’s Sunday morning and I’m just putting the finishing touches on this post.

What’s ‘Cabo San Lucas Day’?

One year ago my hubs and I were on a whale watching boat in the Sea of Cortez soaking up the sun and spray from some gorgeous Grey whales.  The experience so affected us we created our own holiday.

Even though I won’t be released to solid food until Monday you’d better believe I ate my little pile of spiced chicken, refried beans and fresh avocado and remembered Mexico with all my senses. And, my tummy loved it better than those sickeningly sweet, syrupy feeling protein shakes.

The rice pudding is still in the fridge but will likely make its way to the trash.  Hubs said I put too much Kahula in the pudding so he wouldn’t eat it.  I don’t ‘need’ it…I wanted to make it for and share it with hubs.  Since that didn’t happen, then I have to ask myself why would I want to eat it.  I don’t necessarily.  I mean it’s delish but it’s also a dish of mostly empty calories.  Throwing it away is also a huge step and feels like the right thing to do.

Status Update

Humm, I haven’t been too sure how to handle posting my progress.  For me, it’s complicated.  You see I do NOT have a weight loss goal.  I am NOT a number.  The scale will never again define me or my success.

This journey is about health.

Being emotionally dependent on the scale is not healthy.

Period.

My personal goal is simple: A healthy body fat percentage.

Since I am a woman in my 40s that is a range between 7 and 32-percent.

A RANGE!!!!  Not a single destination!!!!

Fortunately, my surgeon also believes weight loss goals are dangerous little numbers to be clinging to.

He says, “I just want you to be healthy…in all the ways you should be.”  I swear I coulda kissed him!

But, the other side is the whole point of weight loss surgery is…umm, like, weight loss and since you cannot lose body weight without losing body fat percentage (Okay, you can but that’s a long convoluted explanation and not the point of what I’m doing here) they sorta go hand in hand.

So here goes…

Morning of surgery: weight 259.5, body fat % 43.9
Two days post-op: 262.4 (Yep, my Hashimoto’s body GAINED weight in the hospital..all fluid, of course but c’mon body…REALLY????????????????  I held no grand illusion that my body would magically behave like normal but I wasn’t exactly fully prepared for a 5.2 pound gain so soon post-op.)
One week post-op: 245
Scale change from two days post op: 17. 4
Body fat change: 0.8% (For a explanation of how body fat loss is calculated check this out)

And because this journey is more than numbers…

Non-Scale Victories:

I put on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in….umm, so long hubs and I can’t remember exactly but we’re thinking TWO YEARS AGO!!!!  I even wore them for a few hours.  I could have worn them all day but my belly is still tender from surgery making waistbands uncomfortable.

I WORE CUTE SOCKS!!!!  With my severe edema, I have been limited to hideous black knee high compression socks for the most part unless of course I wanted to suffer the wrath of gaining water in the name of fashion.  Not only did I wear cute socks but I had virtually zero imprint on my ankles at the end of the day.  I honestly think what imprint there was, was more from my shoe than my body simply because I still had ankles at the end of the day.  I’d say it’s been 3+ years since I’ve been able to wear this particular pair of lime green no-show ankle socks.

I can SEE myself shrinking.  It’s generally noticeable all over but the biggest “WOW” moment is on my back of all places.  That little chub of bra-line fat us big girls get is visibly flatter.

I feel GREAT!!!!  I feel like I had surgery, of course, but otherwise I feel really great.

 

Realizing The True Power Of Weight Loss Surgery

Here I am one full week post-op from a vertical sleeve gastrectomy but I am not the least bit interested in celebrating the as “The moment that changed my life forever” or any other such thing.  Oh perhaps I look back on the auspiciousness of this day but today, thankfully, wonderfully, I know the day, the moment of surgery is has no real power.

Yes, weight loss surgery is a tool and a fairly drastic one at that but so many people put all their energy into the tool’s potential to change that they forget they hold all the power.

It occurred me last night that from the moment you enter the hospital you are not in control of your own destiny.  Yes, you did all the work to be eligible to be there but at this point on your journey you are incredibly powerless.  It is a scary moment to relinquish that power.  If you have vetted your surgeon, you should feel confident in shifting power to him.  If you don’t, you should remove the snazzy wristlet the smiling admitting clerk gave you and reassess your choice.  Assuming you don’t ask for a pair of scissors or gnaw it off when the nurse isn’t looking, you move forward in the hands of a team of medical professionals until you are released from the hospital.  And, you have no power.

For me, the shifting of power was about 30 hours.  During that time, someone else directed the course of my journey.  Sweet nurses brought me medications to make me comfortable and laps around the nurses station which made me anything but.  I did have the power to refuse to do any of it but when you’ve come this far you’re really not interested in asserting your will.

However, when my throat hurt in the middle of the night and I tried to steer my our course the nurses wouldn’t bring me sugar-free gelatin because, “The doctor wants you to stick to your diet.”  Good gravy Davey, I promise I didn’t want to actually eat it.  The last time I had chemical-laden gelatin from a box was the last time I had surgery six years ago.  I’m not convinced that stuff is actually fit for human consumption.  My throat hurt, dammit.

You make it through the night and the discharge orders arrive.  You’re free!  Your surgeon and nutritionist have given you instructions but no one is forcing you to follow them.  Now, you are steering your own course again.

You hold all the power, again.

Oh shit…now you have to go to work.

The moment you realize your future is in your hands is a little disarming. Thanks to the copious amounts of pain medication the realization is a little slow.  Within a couple of days the reality and enormity of it all descends.  It feels frightening but this is your power coming back to you.

Just as every moment which leads you to choosing weight loss surgery was a maze of twists and turns every moment forward is the same.  Surgery did nothing but change the maze you are running.

Now, you’re faced with the choice to rise up into your own amazing power…

(If you’re looking for updates on my progress check this post.)

 

 

 

 

 

Can I Just Quit…Please

It’s four and just a little bit days before surgery and in the past 24 hrs we found out the relief driver hubs hired decided to bail out. He’s found someone else but we won’t know until tomorrow morning if she’s going to show up much less work out.

Then, thanks to a few miscommunications we have significantly more bills than money on top of needing to go to Las Vegas three times in the next three weeks…surgery, IV vitamin/mineral therapy a week post-op, and a two-week post op…and I just feel so overwhelmed I can’t….even…IDK…what I can’t even but I just don’t even know how we’re making this all work.

I do not know how we are going to make it.

It also feels so selfish.

My sweet man works three jobs and I don’t even know if he’s going to have food to eat while I am learning to eat again.  But, I do have plenty of protein powder…but not much else.

I know if I cancelled my surgery we would have more than enough to meet our financial obligations.  But, I know I cannot even offer it to him to help ease his stress.  He wouldn’t take me seriously.  I mean I want my surgery…I am SO, SO, SO ready…but I don’t want him to suffer…this isn’t worth it.

The guilt is so strong and I feel really alone right now.