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southernsoul

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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  1. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Canary Diamond for a blog entry, Happiness, self-esteem, and WLS   
    I'm going to lay out some thoughts I've been having. My intent is not to minimize the experience of anyone else, but simply to offer my own thoughts and beliefs. I know this journey is different for all of us, but I am always saddened when I see a post about how a pre-op person can't wait to "be skinny" or "look hot" or "feel good about myself again". Skinny does not equal happy. Skinny does not equal hot. Skinny does not equal feeling good about ourselves. There are just as many skinny people who are unhappy, unattractive, and down on themselves as fat people. Happiness, feeling attractive, and feeling good about oneself are characteristics generated from within, not without.
     
    A few years ago, at a very low point in my life, happiness seemed to me like a foreign concept. I could not remember the last time I had felt genuinely joyous or happy about anything. Intellectually, I knew that there were many things in my life that were desirable. I had a good job, a comfortable house, a dependable car, some money in the bank, food in the fridge, etc. But despite these things, I was unhappy. Now, I had good reasons to be unhappy, or so I thought. My marriage was failing, I was coming to grips with the fact that I would never be a mother, I wanted desperately to change my life but felt completely stuck, and so on. I remember reading somewhere that happy is a verb...it's an action, not a passive condition. I began to wonder...if I truly felt that there was no spark of happiness or joy in my life, who's fault was that? Who was responsible for my happiness? The answer, of course, is me. I was failing myself. I was not loving myself, or being kind to myself.
     
    I decided that if happy was an action, I was going to try and exercise my happy muscle. I was going to try and find one thing to feel happy about for a few minutes every day. My goal was 3-5 minutes a day of active happiness. I thought that would be super easy. After all, I had been able to identify good things in my life, so how hard could it be to think about them for a couple of minutes every day? Well, it was actually harder than I expected, but I stuck with it. I had to set a timer in the beginning, but I made myself do it every single day. Gradually, I noticed it got easier. Some days all I could come up with was something like the weather, or the fact that my bills were paid on time, but damn it...if that was all I had, then I was damn well going to focus on it & feel happy for 3 freakin' minutes.
     
    I eventually began to notice that I felt happier overall. I'm not sure why, because by this time I was just divorced and trying to figure out dating at 270 lbs & maintaining my new house, etc, but regardless, I felt happier. After meeting the man who has become my 2nd husband, he said that one of the things that attracted him to me was that I always seemed happy. I'm not saying that this is somehow a magic bullet against bad stuff happening, but holding happiness in my mind for a few minutes every day helps me to deal with the inevitable downs of life. It seems to me that consciously taking time to feel happy each day has somehow made a state of happiness more accessible in my brain.
     
    It's been almost 7 years since I began my happiness quest, and I can honestly say I feel happier today than I ever have in my life. To quote Charlotte in the Sex and The City movie, "I feel happy every day. Not all day every day, but every day I feel happy." In choosing to have the sleeve, I absolutely do not expect it to make me happy, because I'm already happy. I feel pretty good about myself today, this minute, at 300+ lbs. Yes, there are things I want to do, but I can't right now. Yes, I have pain every day & difficulty walking, but I still feel good about who I am and what I have to offer in my small corner of the world. I am aware that I am probably judged negatively by some people because of my weight, but I don't even really notice that. Today, I find it so much easier to find things in my life that make me genuinely happy. I am definitely looking forward to weighing less and seeing an improvement in my mobility, but I don't think it will make me somehow better or more acceptable or a more worthy person. I am enough, right now, just as I am. We all are, and we are all so very precious. Today, right now, at this very moment, we are beautiful, and we are valuable, and we are enough. I believe that with all my heart, and I hope you do, too.
  2. Like
    southernsoul reacted to PrettyLilButterfly for a blog entry, Was I too Open?   
    I'm reading post after post in regards to whom people have told. And it seems very few are telling people outside of their 'cirle'.
     
    Me, I've told the world. If someone at work asks, I tell them. My job knew the second i started contemplating the surgery.
     
    I think part of my decision to tell everyone was I work for the company/hospital who does the surgery. i was the first one at my insurance company to get lapband. and now i am the first one to get the revision. i actually considered trying to get a job at the bariatric clinic. everyone at work has been so amazingly supportive. two of my close friends at work have gotten surgeries too. i feel like i've inspired others to follow suit, or to at least go to a clnic. i've sort of become the poster child for the surgery. matter of a fact, i may soon literally be the post child. marketing has asked if i'd be willing to be part of our 'my story' campaign. I have already put a testimonial on the website. they want to do a photo shoot (WHAT?? WHO? ME?? really? YIKES, YAY) most of the posters i would be on are within the insurance company and the hospitals. there's a very slight (NO WAY! YIKES) possibility i may be on a billboard.
     
    see here in new mexico, not very many doctors offer the surgery. matter of a fact, it appears to just be our hospital here in albuquerque and one in santa fe. so it's a huge deal to have success stories and advertisement when a huge part of your advertising is 'only hospital in alb to offer wls'. i don't know if all this will come to light, but i'm willing to do what it takes to inspire others. or to be there for anyone who has questions. granted, one of my best friends is the manager of the clinic now, so i doubt she'll let it go. she'll make sure my mug shot is out there! haha..
     
     
  3. Like
    southernsoul reacted to zenandnow for a blog entry, Nifty Fifty!   
    Here's to five goals down, and 9 lbs to halfway!!!
     

    Lose 20 lbs - complete!
    Get under 200 lbs - complete!
    Lose 45 lbs - complete!
    Get to 190 - complete!
    Lose 50 lbs- complete!
    Get to 186
    Get to 180
    Get to 179 (halfway!)
    Get to 165
    Get to 160
    Get to 155
    Get to 150
    Get to 145
    Get to 140
    Get to 135
    Get to 125
    Get to 120

  4. Like
    southernsoul reacted to gamergirl for a blog entry, The Problem with a Weight Loss Stall   
    The problem with a stall is not just the lack of weight loss at a time you expect the weight to be peeling off–although that would be bad enough. The problem with a stall is that it comes with baggage.
    All those times when you thought you’d found the “perfect” diet. All those times when there were hundreds of others boasting of their success with something that you were now trying. All those times that you were filled with hope that THIS was the thing that was going to work.
     
    All those times that you failed.
     
    We’ve been stuck at the same weight for 11 days, and it’s very difficult to focus on the now, instead of trying to think of what this means for the future. If I focus on the now, it tells me that my body is changing, my clothes fit differently, and even at 25 lbs, people see and comment on the difference all the time.
     
    If I try to project for the future and imagine that this is the way it will always be, then I focus on the fact that this could be another thing at which others have succeeded, but at which I seem doomed to fail. Which of us has not believed, both before and after the surgery, that we would be the ones who would be the exception to the rule? That we would be that medical marvel that simply could not lose the weight despite doing everything we were told?
     
    That we would be that singular failure while others around us kept posting their amazing before and after pictures?
     
    And that’s the problem with a stall. Even knowing what we do, that every day is a different adventure when sleeved, that recovery, weight loss, and changes happen seemingly overnight, we still believe that this is the time, and we are the one that will fail. A very egocentric world-view if truth be told, but justifiable given our histories.
     
    So if you thought this journey was just about eating your protein and drinking your water and not challenging your sleeve, I’ve got news for you my friend. It’s about battling your inner demons, about having faith in the unknown, and about believing that we are not that special after all.
     
    And in that normalcy and mediocrity is perhaps where salvation lies.
     
    (Follow my journey and my recipes at www.sleevers.wordpress.com)
  5. Like
    southernsoul reacted to gamergirl for a blog entry, It's been a month since the surgery   
    It's been a month to the day that we were sleeved. During that time, I have lost 25 lbs, been stalled for over 10 days, learned how to chew again, realized that if I didn't set timers I'd never eat again, and today, I was sitting in a chair and suddenly picked up one leg and folded it up on top the chair leg. I did it unthinkingly, and not until it was done that I realized that before the surgery, I was in too much pain to be able to do that. Yay me!
     
    I don't understand how this whole weight/inches/clothes things works. My bust, waist and hips are the same during the stall, I'm not losing inches. But I'm fitting into clothes that I last wore when I weighed about 20 lbs less than I do now. What sense does that make? Not a lot, I can tell you that! I don't get it, but I guess I don't have to. I just have to keep on keeping on. Meanwhile, the pile of clothes that don't fit me is growing slowly but surely.
     
    One thing that I'm really grateful for is no RA Pain. I started my meds again but really it is under duress as a result of pressure from the doctor. I see no symptomatic reason for taking them. Had it not been for the slightly elevated levels on the blood tests, I would have refused all together. I cannot believe that I am in less pain now, at 5 week with no meds, than I was when I was taking my meds and shots! Really makes you wonder how much of RA is food/inflammation/weight related in my case. I know that's not always true, but was there a relationship for me?
     
    Having trouble getting in all my proteins from food, and find that some days I eat close to 700-800 calories, and other days I eat 500 calories, and it all feels good.
     
    Work is in full-swing and while I miss being able to spend hours on the forum, I also know this is the new normal. I still come here a lot to read, but other things are priorities now, as they should be.
     
    I find myself wondering when the stall will break, and what I will be saying at 3 months when asked how much I've lost? I don't have a number in mind, I just want it to be more than 25 lbs
     
    So, made it through the first month! I'm happy.
  6. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from gamergirl for a blog entry, Judgment Day   
    Lately, I’ve been thinking about judgments & why people feel compelled to judge others. People post a lot here about feeling judged by friends and family members for deciding to have surgery, or feeling judged by skinny people for being fat in the first place. Personally, I have been fortunate that not one single negative word has been said to me with regards to having surgery. My family and friends have all been very supportive. Intellectually, I know I am (or have been) judged negatively by other people for my weight, but I honestly don’t usually notice those judgments. If I do happen to notice or feel judged by somebody, I don’t generally internalize the judgment and allow it to continue to affect me.
     
    But it seems to me that there is also a fair amount of judgment happening among members of the WLS community. Sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes it quite overt, but it’s all judgmental bulls**t that says more about the person making the judgment than it does about the person being judged. Here are just a few judgments I have observed being made here and elsewhere among members of the WLS community. Some of these judgments have been directed at me, some I’ve observed in others, and one or two I am guilty of making.
     
    Everyone who needs/wants WLS has a food addiction or depression or very low self-esteem. If you say you don’t, then you are either lying or in denial.
     
    People who go to Mexico for surgery are less prepared mentally and emotionally than those who have surgery in the US.
     
    My surgeon does things the “right” way. If your surgeon tells you something different, he/she is wrong and I am justified in telling you to ignore your surgeon’s instructions.
     
    People who slip up on the preop diet are not ready for surgery and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not follow instructions to the letter in the first couple of months post-op are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not commit wholeheartedly to an exercise plan postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or smoke weed postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who come here posting questions without first searching for the answer are dumb or lazy.
     
    People who credit their faith with helping them get through this process are annoying and should not talk about their faith in relation to WLS.
     
    People who are atheist or agnostic are missing the most important part of life and should be pitied.
     
    People who have plastics after WLS are vain.
     
    People who struggle to put their own needs ahead of others aren't trying hard enough or valuing themselves enough.
     
     
    I’m sure other folks can think of more, and there is also a whole raft of judgments that we frequently make against ourselves. The point is that none of these judgments are true and none of these judgments are supportive or helpful in any way. We all have our own path to travel, and I believe we each generally do the best we can at any given time. At various times, my “best” will be better than some and not nearly as good as others, and that’s true for everybody. I don’t know if judging others is a way to feel better about ourselves, or just a bad habit we fall into, but it certainly does seem to come naturally to us. In my opinion, reaching out for support is a healthy, intelligent, and wise thing to do. Let’s try to respect the courage it takes to be here, and check our judgments at the door.
  7. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from gamergirl for a blog entry, Judgment Day   
    Lately, I’ve been thinking about judgments & why people feel compelled to judge others. People post a lot here about feeling judged by friends and family members for deciding to have surgery, or feeling judged by skinny people for being fat in the first place. Personally, I have been fortunate that not one single negative word has been said to me with regards to having surgery. My family and friends have all been very supportive. Intellectually, I know I am (or have been) judged negatively by other people for my weight, but I honestly don’t usually notice those judgments. If I do happen to notice or feel judged by somebody, I don’t generally internalize the judgment and allow it to continue to affect me.
     
    But it seems to me that there is also a fair amount of judgment happening among members of the WLS community. Sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes it quite overt, but it’s all judgmental bulls**t that says more about the person making the judgment than it does about the person being judged. Here are just a few judgments I have observed being made here and elsewhere among members of the WLS community. Some of these judgments have been directed at me, some I’ve observed in others, and one or two I am guilty of making.
     
    Everyone who needs/wants WLS has a food addiction or depression or very low self-esteem. If you say you don’t, then you are either lying or in denial.
     
    People who go to Mexico for surgery are less prepared mentally and emotionally than those who have surgery in the US.
     
    My surgeon does things the “right” way. If your surgeon tells you something different, he/she is wrong and I am justified in telling you to ignore your surgeon’s instructions.
     
    People who slip up on the preop diet are not ready for surgery and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not follow instructions to the letter in the first couple of months post-op are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not commit wholeheartedly to an exercise plan postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or smoke weed postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who come here posting questions without first searching for the answer are dumb or lazy.
     
    People who credit their faith with helping them get through this process are annoying and should not talk about their faith in relation to WLS.
     
    People who are atheist or agnostic are missing the most important part of life and should be pitied.
     
    People who have plastics after WLS are vain.
     
    People who struggle to put their own needs ahead of others aren't trying hard enough or valuing themselves enough.
     
     
    I’m sure other folks can think of more, and there is also a whole raft of judgments that we frequently make against ourselves. The point is that none of these judgments are true and none of these judgments are supportive or helpful in any way. We all have our own path to travel, and I believe we each generally do the best we can at any given time. At various times, my “best” will be better than some and not nearly as good as others, and that’s true for everybody. I don’t know if judging others is a way to feel better about ourselves, or just a bad habit we fall into, but it certainly does seem to come naturally to us. In my opinion, reaching out for support is a healthy, intelligent, and wise thing to do. Let’s try to respect the courage it takes to be here, and check our judgments at the door.
  8. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from gamergirl for a blog entry, Judgment Day   
    Lately, I’ve been thinking about judgments & why people feel compelled to judge others. People post a lot here about feeling judged by friends and family members for deciding to have surgery, or feeling judged by skinny people for being fat in the first place. Personally, I have been fortunate that not one single negative word has been said to me with regards to having surgery. My family and friends have all been very supportive. Intellectually, I know I am (or have been) judged negatively by other people for my weight, but I honestly don’t usually notice those judgments. If I do happen to notice or feel judged by somebody, I don’t generally internalize the judgment and allow it to continue to affect me.
     
    But it seems to me that there is also a fair amount of judgment happening among members of the WLS community. Sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes it quite overt, but it’s all judgmental bulls**t that says more about the person making the judgment than it does about the person being judged. Here are just a few judgments I have observed being made here and elsewhere among members of the WLS community. Some of these judgments have been directed at me, some I’ve observed in others, and one or two I am guilty of making.
     
    Everyone who needs/wants WLS has a food addiction or depression or very low self-esteem. If you say you don’t, then you are either lying or in denial.
     
    People who go to Mexico for surgery are less prepared mentally and emotionally than those who have surgery in the US.
     
    My surgeon does things the “right” way. If your surgeon tells you something different, he/she is wrong and I am justified in telling you to ignore your surgeon’s instructions.
     
    People who slip up on the preop diet are not ready for surgery and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not follow instructions to the letter in the first couple of months post-op are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not commit wholeheartedly to an exercise plan postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or smoke weed postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who come here posting questions without first searching for the answer are dumb or lazy.
     
    People who credit their faith with helping them get through this process are annoying and should not talk about their faith in relation to WLS.
     
    People who are atheist or agnostic are missing the most important part of life and should be pitied.
     
    People who have plastics after WLS are vain.
     
    People who struggle to put their own needs ahead of others aren't trying hard enough or valuing themselves enough.
     
     
    I’m sure other folks can think of more, and there is also a whole raft of judgments that we frequently make against ourselves. The point is that none of these judgments are true and none of these judgments are supportive or helpful in any way. We all have our own path to travel, and I believe we each generally do the best we can at any given time. At various times, my “best” will be better than some and not nearly as good as others, and that’s true for everybody. I don’t know if judging others is a way to feel better about ourselves, or just a bad habit we fall into, but it certainly does seem to come naturally to us. In my opinion, reaching out for support is a healthy, intelligent, and wise thing to do. Let’s try to respect the courage it takes to be here, and check our judgments at the door.
  9. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from gamergirl for a blog entry, Judgment Day   
    Lately, I’ve been thinking about judgments & why people feel compelled to judge others. People post a lot here about feeling judged by friends and family members for deciding to have surgery, or feeling judged by skinny people for being fat in the first place. Personally, I have been fortunate that not one single negative word has been said to me with regards to having surgery. My family and friends have all been very supportive. Intellectually, I know I am (or have been) judged negatively by other people for my weight, but I honestly don’t usually notice those judgments. If I do happen to notice or feel judged by somebody, I don’t generally internalize the judgment and allow it to continue to affect me.
     
    But it seems to me that there is also a fair amount of judgment happening among members of the WLS community. Sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes it quite overt, but it’s all judgmental bulls**t that says more about the person making the judgment than it does about the person being judged. Here are just a few judgments I have observed being made here and elsewhere among members of the WLS community. Some of these judgments have been directed at me, some I’ve observed in others, and one or two I am guilty of making.
     
    Everyone who needs/wants WLS has a food addiction or depression or very low self-esteem. If you say you don’t, then you are either lying or in denial.
     
    People who go to Mexico for surgery are less prepared mentally and emotionally than those who have surgery in the US.
     
    My surgeon does things the “right” way. If your surgeon tells you something different, he/she is wrong and I am justified in telling you to ignore your surgeon’s instructions.
     
    People who slip up on the preop diet are not ready for surgery and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not follow instructions to the letter in the first couple of months post-op are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not commit wholeheartedly to an exercise plan postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or smoke weed postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who come here posting questions without first searching for the answer are dumb or lazy.
     
    People who credit their faith with helping them get through this process are annoying and should not talk about their faith in relation to WLS.
     
    People who are atheist or agnostic are missing the most important part of life and should be pitied.
     
    People who have plastics after WLS are vain.
     
    People who struggle to put their own needs ahead of others aren't trying hard enough or valuing themselves enough.
     
     
    I’m sure other folks can think of more, and there is also a whole raft of judgments that we frequently make against ourselves. The point is that none of these judgments are true and none of these judgments are supportive or helpful in any way. We all have our own path to travel, and I believe we each generally do the best we can at any given time. At various times, my “best” will be better than some and not nearly as good as others, and that’s true for everybody. I don’t know if judging others is a way to feel better about ourselves, or just a bad habit we fall into, but it certainly does seem to come naturally to us. In my opinion, reaching out for support is a healthy, intelligent, and wise thing to do. Let’s try to respect the courage it takes to be here, and check our judgments at the door.
  10. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Canary Diamond for a blog entry, Happiness, self-esteem, and WLS   
    I'm going to lay out some thoughts I've been having. My intent is not to minimize the experience of anyone else, but simply to offer my own thoughts and beliefs. I know this journey is different for all of us, but I am always saddened when I see a post about how a pre-op person can't wait to "be skinny" or "look hot" or "feel good about myself again". Skinny does not equal happy. Skinny does not equal hot. Skinny does not equal feeling good about ourselves. There are just as many skinny people who are unhappy, unattractive, and down on themselves as fat people. Happiness, feeling attractive, and feeling good about oneself are characteristics generated from within, not without.
     
    A few years ago, at a very low point in my life, happiness seemed to me like a foreign concept. I could not remember the last time I had felt genuinely joyous or happy about anything. Intellectually, I knew that there were many things in my life that were desirable. I had a good job, a comfortable house, a dependable car, some money in the bank, food in the fridge, etc. But despite these things, I was unhappy. Now, I had good reasons to be unhappy, or so I thought. My marriage was failing, I was coming to grips with the fact that I would never be a mother, I wanted desperately to change my life but felt completely stuck, and so on. I remember reading somewhere that happy is a verb...it's an action, not a passive condition. I began to wonder...if I truly felt that there was no spark of happiness or joy in my life, who's fault was that? Who was responsible for my happiness? The answer, of course, is me. I was failing myself. I was not loving myself, or being kind to myself.
     
    I decided that if happy was an action, I was going to try and exercise my happy muscle. I was going to try and find one thing to feel happy about for a few minutes every day. My goal was 3-5 minutes a day of active happiness. I thought that would be super easy. After all, I had been able to identify good things in my life, so how hard could it be to think about them for a couple of minutes every day? Well, it was actually harder than I expected, but I stuck with it. I had to set a timer in the beginning, but I made myself do it every single day. Gradually, I noticed it got easier. Some days all I could come up with was something like the weather, or the fact that my bills were paid on time, but damn it...if that was all I had, then I was damn well going to focus on it & feel happy for 3 freakin' minutes.
     
    I eventually began to notice that I felt happier overall. I'm not sure why, because by this time I was just divorced and trying to figure out dating at 270 lbs & maintaining my new house, etc, but regardless, I felt happier. After meeting the man who has become my 2nd husband, he said that one of the things that attracted him to me was that I always seemed happy. I'm not saying that this is somehow a magic bullet against bad stuff happening, but holding happiness in my mind for a few minutes every day helps me to deal with the inevitable downs of life. It seems to me that consciously taking time to feel happy each day has somehow made a state of happiness more accessible in my brain.
     
    It's been almost 7 years since I began my happiness quest, and I can honestly say I feel happier today than I ever have in my life. To quote Charlotte in the Sex and The City movie, "I feel happy every day. Not all day every day, but every day I feel happy." In choosing to have the sleeve, I absolutely do not expect it to make me happy, because I'm already happy. I feel pretty good about myself today, this minute, at 300+ lbs. Yes, there are things I want to do, but I can't right now. Yes, I have pain every day & difficulty walking, but I still feel good about who I am and what I have to offer in my small corner of the world. I am aware that I am probably judged negatively by some people because of my weight, but I don't even really notice that. Today, I find it so much easier to find things in my life that make me genuinely happy. I am definitely looking forward to weighing less and seeing an improvement in my mobility, but I don't think it will make me somehow better or more acceptable or a more worthy person. I am enough, right now, just as I am. We all are, and we are all so very precious. Today, right now, at this very moment, we are beautiful, and we are valuable, and we are enough. I believe that with all my heart, and I hope you do, too.
  11. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from gamergirl for a blog entry, Judgment Day   
    Lately, I’ve been thinking about judgments & why people feel compelled to judge others. People post a lot here about feeling judged by friends and family members for deciding to have surgery, or feeling judged by skinny people for being fat in the first place. Personally, I have been fortunate that not one single negative word has been said to me with regards to having surgery. My family and friends have all been very supportive. Intellectually, I know I am (or have been) judged negatively by other people for my weight, but I honestly don’t usually notice those judgments. If I do happen to notice or feel judged by somebody, I don’t generally internalize the judgment and allow it to continue to affect me.
     
    But it seems to me that there is also a fair amount of judgment happening among members of the WLS community. Sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes it quite overt, but it’s all judgmental bulls**t that says more about the person making the judgment than it does about the person being judged. Here are just a few judgments I have observed being made here and elsewhere among members of the WLS community. Some of these judgments have been directed at me, some I’ve observed in others, and one or two I am guilty of making.
     
    Everyone who needs/wants WLS has a food addiction or depression or very low self-esteem. If you say you don’t, then you are either lying or in denial.
     
    People who go to Mexico for surgery are less prepared mentally and emotionally than those who have surgery in the US.
     
    My surgeon does things the “right” way. If your surgeon tells you something different, he/she is wrong and I am justified in telling you to ignore your surgeon’s instructions.
     
    People who slip up on the preop diet are not ready for surgery and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not follow instructions to the letter in the first couple of months post-op are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who do not commit wholeheartedly to an exercise plan postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or smoke weed postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
     
    People who come here posting questions without first searching for the answer are dumb or lazy.
     
    People who credit their faith with helping them get through this process are annoying and should not talk about their faith in relation to WLS.
     
    People who are atheist or agnostic are missing the most important part of life and should be pitied.
     
    People who have plastics after WLS are vain.
     
    People who struggle to put their own needs ahead of others aren't trying hard enough or valuing themselves enough.
     
     
    I’m sure other folks can think of more, and there is also a whole raft of judgments that we frequently make against ourselves. The point is that none of these judgments are true and none of these judgments are supportive or helpful in any way. We all have our own path to travel, and I believe we each generally do the best we can at any given time. At various times, my “best” will be better than some and not nearly as good as others, and that’s true for everybody. I don’t know if judging others is a way to feel better about ourselves, or just a bad habit we fall into, but it certainly does seem to come naturally to us. In my opinion, reaching out for support is a healthy, intelligent, and wise thing to do. Let’s try to respect the courage it takes to be here, and check our judgments at the door.
  12. Like
    southernsoul reacted to gamergirl for a blog entry, Try not to throw out the Old just because we're New now...   
    I feel like a different part of my brain has been activated over the last few weeks. Look at how much we all have to learn to prepare for this surgery. When was the last time you used the words "pyloric valve" in polite conversation, on a regular basis?
     
    Eight weeks ago, I didn't realize I would be a "sleever", a "post-op" a "full liquids" stage. I was just me, loving life, my job, my husband, my kids, and reading Sci-Fi if I wanted to learn new words (China Mieville, anyone?)
     
    Unfortunately, today I also know things like "sliders", "pre-op cheating", "slow loser", "stall", "head hunger", "weight re-gain", "falling off the wagon". And now, these words I've never used before have become imbued with emotions, with meaning--and another way to judge myself and others. Now these words are emotion-laden, and I have to work to make them rational. Now, if I'm not careful, I will categorize myself by these words and find another way in which I could be seen to have failed. For someone who is as motivated as am I by the fear of failure, now these can be new weapons.
     
    Unless I refuse to let that happen.
     
    Unless I say to myself and those around me, that everyday that I stick to the plan is a successful day. That everyday I veer off the plan is an opportunity presented to me to triumph the next day. That this is my new life, and I intend to live it, enjoy it, succeed at it, and let the Universe unfold the way it should.
     
    So I will try not to throw out the old, happy life I had, and live instead by one where I can succeed or fail daily based on an outcome I may not be able to control--like when I stall, or what I lose. I can only control what I do, and that part, I know how to live by that.
  13. Like
    southernsoul reacted to Canary Diamond for a blog entry, To The Men: I Get It Now; a.k.a. Damn, Girl   
    My libido is through the roof since having surgery. It is, without a doubt, the highest it has ever been in my life. A juicy, throbbing beast of arousal. It's like I have a whole new set of nerve endings and with the slightest whiff of sexuality they are firing on all pistons. I haven't even lost that much weight; the weight I'm at now is one I've been at many times in my life, with unspectacular effects on my sex drive.
     
    But everything has changed. I understand the appeal of David Guetta songs. I understand why people risk going to jail for public indecency. I understand why women look forward to doing laundry so much. I even think I may be beginning to understand how it feels to be a man. Make that a teenage boy. Let me put it this way, I don't think I'll need to continue the 30 Day Abs Challenge to see results by next week.
     
    I have a theory for this: For the first time in my life, the prospect of a toned, sexy body is real. Guaranteed, in fact, as long as I don't push my sleeve. I think my libido went to sleep years ago when it realized it wasn't going to be put to use anytime soon, and now it has awoken like a bear jolted out of hibernation by jumper cables.
     
    And how the hell is it that men KNOW when you're feeling like this? Walking my dog today, literally every man I passed turned his head. Two guys even slowed their cars waaaaaaaaayyyy down as they were passing by and watched me. I was wearing sweatpants, slurping on a protein shake, and carrying a bag of $h!t - not exactly exuding an air of....well, what I'd just done in the shower.
     
    If you can relate, I would love to hear from you. Especially if you're single like me. How did/do you keep yourself under control? I feel like I'm on the verge of doing something stupid. As a teacher in a small town, something tells me if I were caught in a park humping the statues people wouldn't want me around their children anymore.
  14. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from katsuef for a blog entry, Second week post op and into the third   
    My second week postop was SO much better than the first week. The addition of kefir (liquid yogurt) in my diet really helped to bring my diarrhea under control & everything in the whole world looked much better after that!
     
    My surgeon had me on 2 full weeks of clear liquids plus skim milk postop. It was definitely tough to go that long on just clear liquids, even with skim milk & the addition of kefir one week in. I was aware that many other docs do not require 2 weeks on clears, but I just figured this was my karmic payback for having a generous pre-op diet that was not just a bunch of shakes. Even though I had heard this might happen, I was still surprised to find myself never experiencing hunger...either physical or head hunger. A couple of times I was in a restaurant or somewhere else around yummy food, but I was barely tempted. The food looked good, smelled great...and still, I only had a tiny ripple of want, and then I forgot about it.
     
    Here's what else surprised me, though...the number of pre-op and post-op sleeve peeps who encouraged me to cheat on, or disregard, my surgeon's instructions! Granted, nobody was encouraging me to eat a cookie or something like that, but several folks encouraged me to have some yogurt, or a protein shake, or pudding. Even though I knew it it probably wouldn't hurt me to give in, I chose to stick to the plan as outlined by my surgeon.
     
    Maybe it's a small thing, but it seems to me that developing our self-discipline skills is a big part of this journey. I assume that my surgeon has chosen his post-op guidelines because he believes them to be the best way to ensure a successful start. Part of the information we learn on this & other WLS sites is just how much variation there is among surgeons, and their pre- and post-op plans. We know what other folks are being told by their doctors, and sometimes it might be easy to think, "Well, that person's doctor said it wasn't a problem, so why does my surgeon care? It won't really matter if I just....." I know that suggesting that someone have a yogurt is not the end of the world, but rationalization and justification are twin pathways on the slipperiest of slopes. I don't want to get started down that road. I will be the first to admit that my self-discipline skills can certainly use some work, but I am making the best effort I possible can to be successful on this journey.
  15. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Annie04 for a blog entry, My first few days post-op   
    I have felt very lucky to have had a couple of months preop to be on this site & learn from others. I appreciate the knowledge, advice, and the sharing of experiences I have found here, and I plan to pay it forward by posting regularly on my post op progress. So far, my experience has been pretty good, although in some ways it’s different than what I imagined.
     
    I was sleeved on Wednesday, June 19 at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, GA. When I woke up from surgery, I felt queasy, but I didn’t get sick. The nursing staff was great, and so was my special bariatric nurse, Debbie. I was able to wear my own gown & robe, and somehow that made me feel better. I was up walking within a couple of hours of being in my room. I needed help walking at first, mainly just to have somebody keep the IV stand out of my way. At first, I was instructed to walk once every four hours, but on the second day they bumped it up to once every 2 hours. By the second day, I could do it by myself, but my husband usually came with me anyway. I used the breathing tube thing (spirometer?) almost every hour. I never hit the goal they set for me, but I came fairly close. I didn’t sleep much on Wednesday night, only dozing on and off. They came in to take vitals every 4 hours & I just couldn’t get comfortable.
     
    That first afternoon, another VST member, journeybegins05032013 came by to meet me, and brought me the sweetest goody bag with samples of different protein powders & flavors, drink mix-ins, iron & calcium chews, a Dr. Seuss book, and a lovely journal. It was such a thoughtful gesture! I have also received wonderful calls, texts, and messages from many of my sleeve peeps, and I am just so thankful for this community.
     
    WARNING – Grossness alert! The next paragraph is about poop.
     
    Based on what I had read from others, I was expecting to not have a BM for several days. However, on Thursday morning I started pooping. It was extremely liquid, just like it had been the night before surgery with the bowel cleanse. It literally felt like I was peeing from the back side. Almost every time I peed, I would let go some more from the back. As a result, my anus hurt a lot. It was very tender & made it even more uncomfortable to lie on my back. The liquid poop has continued at home, but strangely enough I did not fart until this morning, on the 4th day out. I have been burping like crazy, but not farting. I never even used a Gas-X strip since I was pooping so much.
     
    I am on clear liquids for 2 weeks, and then will be on full liquids for 2 more weeks. My doc counts skim milk as a clear, and I’m supposed to take in 32 oz of skim milk & 32 oz of other clears every day. I made SF Jello with milk & it turned out pretty good. I used about a quarter or half cup of boiling water to dissolve & then mixed in about 1 cup & a half of skim milk. I just tried the Unjury Chicken soup with water, but next time will make it with warm milk & see how that works out. I’m not doing a good job tracking my intake, and I really need to get better about that. I am going to start using MyFitnessPal today, since I know it has been so helpful for so many folks. My energy level is still pretty low. I am walking around my house every couple of hours & taking a longer walk with the hubs every evening. I’m trying not to push myself, and just give my body a chance to heal. I haven’t felt hungry at all, either physical hunger or head hunger. Overall, I feel pretty good about my recovery so far and about how my food intake is going. For the next week, I have nothing on my schedule away from the house except for Wednesday. I am planning to keep taking it easy and just continue to heal & build my stamina back up. One day at a time, little by little, I will get to where I want to be.
  16. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Canary Diamond for a blog entry, Happiness, self-esteem, and WLS   
    I'm going to lay out some thoughts I've been having. My intent is not to minimize the experience of anyone else, but simply to offer my own thoughts and beliefs. I know this journey is different for all of us, but I am always saddened when I see a post about how a pre-op person can't wait to "be skinny" or "look hot" or "feel good about myself again". Skinny does not equal happy. Skinny does not equal hot. Skinny does not equal feeling good about ourselves. There are just as many skinny people who are unhappy, unattractive, and down on themselves as fat people. Happiness, feeling attractive, and feeling good about oneself are characteristics generated from within, not without.
     
    A few years ago, at a very low point in my life, happiness seemed to me like a foreign concept. I could not remember the last time I had felt genuinely joyous or happy about anything. Intellectually, I knew that there were many things in my life that were desirable. I had a good job, a comfortable house, a dependable car, some money in the bank, food in the fridge, etc. But despite these things, I was unhappy. Now, I had good reasons to be unhappy, or so I thought. My marriage was failing, I was coming to grips with the fact that I would never be a mother, I wanted desperately to change my life but felt completely stuck, and so on. I remember reading somewhere that happy is a verb...it's an action, not a passive condition. I began to wonder...if I truly felt that there was no spark of happiness or joy in my life, who's fault was that? Who was responsible for my happiness? The answer, of course, is me. I was failing myself. I was not loving myself, or being kind to myself.
     
    I decided that if happy was an action, I was going to try and exercise my happy muscle. I was going to try and find one thing to feel happy about for a few minutes every day. My goal was 3-5 minutes a day of active happiness. I thought that would be super easy. After all, I had been able to identify good things in my life, so how hard could it be to think about them for a couple of minutes every day? Well, it was actually harder than I expected, but I stuck with it. I had to set a timer in the beginning, but I made myself do it every single day. Gradually, I noticed it got easier. Some days all I could come up with was something like the weather, or the fact that my bills were paid on time, but damn it...if that was all I had, then I was damn well going to focus on it & feel happy for 3 freakin' minutes.
     
    I eventually began to notice that I felt happier overall. I'm not sure why, because by this time I was just divorced and trying to figure out dating at 270 lbs & maintaining my new house, etc, but regardless, I felt happier. After meeting the man who has become my 2nd husband, he said that one of the things that attracted him to me was that I always seemed happy. I'm not saying that this is somehow a magic bullet against bad stuff happening, but holding happiness in my mind for a few minutes every day helps me to deal with the inevitable downs of life. It seems to me that consciously taking time to feel happy each day has somehow made a state of happiness more accessible in my brain.
     
    It's been almost 7 years since I began my happiness quest, and I can honestly say I feel happier today than I ever have in my life. To quote Charlotte in the Sex and The City movie, "I feel happy every day. Not all day every day, but every day I feel happy." In choosing to have the sleeve, I absolutely do not expect it to make me happy, because I'm already happy. I feel pretty good about myself today, this minute, at 300+ lbs. Yes, there are things I want to do, but I can't right now. Yes, I have pain every day & difficulty walking, but I still feel good about who I am and what I have to offer in my small corner of the world. I am aware that I am probably judged negatively by some people because of my weight, but I don't even really notice that. Today, I find it so much easier to find things in my life that make me genuinely happy. I am definitely looking forward to weighing less and seeing an improvement in my mobility, but I don't think it will make me somehow better or more acceptable or a more worthy person. I am enough, right now, just as I am. We all are, and we are all so very precious. Today, right now, at this very moment, we are beautiful, and we are valuable, and we are enough. I believe that with all my heart, and I hope you do, too.
  17. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Annie04 for a blog entry, Weeks five and six...cooking, clothes, and returning hungers   
    This week I had my 6 week postop appointment. I am down about 43 lbs total, including my 2 week preop diet. After hitting 40 lbs down at 4 weeks, I went up & down the same pound for about a week. After 3 or 4 days, I stopped weighing myself every day & just waited about 5 days or so before weighing again. When I did, I was down 2 pounds & another one came off before my follow up appointment. I think my body was adjusting to having more solid food. At week 5, I was finally able to start cooking again & enjoying the kinds of food I love. I'm still focusing on softer foods, but being able to cook good food & start sharing dinner with my husband again has really boosted my outlook. In addition, I can tell my clothes are getting too big & I'm starting to pull out clothes I haven't worn in years. I found a really cute knit pencil skirt online at Target & I bought both a 3X and a 2X (Target stuff runs small on me). The 3X fits great now & the 2X will fit before too long. It's perfect for somebody with a bountiful booty & the hubs loves it.
     
    A new cookbook I am exploring right now is called Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. It's a paleo cookbook, and Melissa also has a great blog called The Clothes Make The Girl. The paleo style of eating seems to fit in really well with our postop guidelines, so I decided to check it out. So far, I have really enjoyed everything I have tried from the book. She includes a sections on staples of a paleo pantry & ways to cook ahead the simple parts of a meal (meat, veggies, etc) that you then can use over a whole week with many variations.
    I found Well Fed on Amazon, along with several other paleo cookbooks I'm thinking of trying now.
     
    Over the last couple of weeks, I have had several social things to go to, plus a couple of times where I have had to be away from home for a whole day or overnight without much access to decent food. I've had to plan ahead for eating properly, and I've also had to get over my nervousness about social or party eating. I've been surprised at the things I've been tempted by & the things I have NOT been tempted by. One party was hosted by a friend who is a very good baker, and his parties always include some yummy cakes. I expected to be pretty tempted to have a bite of cake, but I wasn't. It was so weird, but I was happy with cheese & some olives & hardly looked twice at the cakes. However, last night we were at another friend's house they put out some Triscuits. OMG, I absolutely HAD to have a damn Triscuit. I was actually distracted from the conversation because I kept glancing at the Triscuits. Seriously, I'm obsessing over a Triscuit?? WTH??? I ended up eating 4 over the whole evening & they were yummy. I also had a little wine, but I didn't even finish one glass.
     
    I have noticed that I am starting to feel hunger again. A couple of times, I have been very hungry & my first 2 or 3 bites have been either too big and/or taken in too fast. Each time, I have thrown up right away. I need to do better about keeping it slow & small no matter how hungry I am. I am also struggling to take in 64 oz of water a day. I carry my bottle around, but forget to drink from it. The most I usually drink is 36 to 48 oz, and I know I need to do better than that.
     
    The other thing I'm noticing is that I'm "hungry" to get out and do more stuff now. My knees are feeling much better, and I am so much more enthusiastic about going shopping or to the grocery store or to a party without worrying about pain from standing or feeling like I am stuck in a chair while everyone else is mingling. Call it hunger for life, but that's the other hunger that's coming back & I am so grateful to feel it. Life is for living, and although I was never a person who withdrew from life, I certainly felt restricted in what I was physically able to do. My next NSV outing will be to go to our big farmer's market on a Saturday morning. Maybe next week? We'll see!
  18. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Deezi V for a blog entry, Finally getting back to real food!   
    I finally got moved off liquids and on to purees and soft foods after week 4. I have continued to have my espresso protein shake almost every morning, because it satisfies my coffee craving. I use 1 cup of skim milk, 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Syntrax Nectar), and about 1 tbsp of Cafe Bustelo instant espresso crystals dissolved in a little warm water. Stick everything in the blender bottle, shake & go. 250 cals, 45g protein, 18g carbs.
     
    I have moved very gently into more solid foods like fine chicken salad and scrambled eggs. So many folks seem to have trouble with eggs at first, and I am so thankful that I haven't had any issues. I can definitely feel the restriction more with solid foods than with liquids. Everybody told me to expect that, but I was still worried that somehow I would be 'different' and be able to take in more than I was comfortable with.
     
    On my 4th week anniversary on the 19th, I was down 40 lbs, including the 18 lost on the pre-op diet. That was 5 days ago & the scale hasn't really moved since then. It's been going up & down the same half pound or so, but I'm trying not to let that bother me. All my clothes are stretchy, so I was afraid I wouldn't be able to tell anything by the way my clothes fit, but again that proved to be wrong. I can wear dresses & tops that have been too snug for several years. I can pull off my denim capris without unzipping or unbuttoning them first. (I'm not sure when that might come in handy, but I can do it.) I have a party to go to next week & I pulled out a cute dress I haven't worn in 5 years. Not only does it fit perfectly, but it looks REALLY great. Another bonus...maybe because I'm not very far out, my "girls" are still holding their own. My waist & belly look and feel smaller, but up top is still an attractive feature. Best of all, though, I'm walking and moving much easier. I have been trying to walk at the mall every couple of days & I'm doing some light weights at home. About every 3rd time I exercise, I notice that I can either do just a little more, or the same amount is easier. I have started parking farther away from entrances & I think I may even stick my handicapped hang tag in the glove box.
     
    I'm still on soft foods for another week or so, but I'm plenty satisfied with what I'm able to eat now. I haven't tried fish yet (other than canned tuna or sardines), but I plan to try some salmon this week. My next big milestone is to eat out in a restaurant, and I think fish will be a good thing to start with. Mostly I'm just happy to be feeling good & strong & on my way to a better me!
  19. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from katsuef for a blog entry, Second week post op and into the third   
    My second week postop was SO much better than the first week. The addition of kefir (liquid yogurt) in my diet really helped to bring my diarrhea under control & everything in the whole world looked much better after that!
     
    My surgeon had me on 2 full weeks of clear liquids plus skim milk postop. It was definitely tough to go that long on just clear liquids, even with skim milk & the addition of kefir one week in. I was aware that many other docs do not require 2 weeks on clears, but I just figured this was my karmic payback for having a generous pre-op diet that was not just a bunch of shakes. Even though I had heard this might happen, I was still surprised to find myself never experiencing hunger...either physical or head hunger. A couple of times I was in a restaurant or somewhere else around yummy food, but I was barely tempted. The food looked good, smelled great...and still, I only had a tiny ripple of want, and then I forgot about it.
     
    Here's what else surprised me, though...the number of pre-op and post-op sleeve peeps who encouraged me to cheat on, or disregard, my surgeon's instructions! Granted, nobody was encouraging me to eat a cookie or something like that, but several folks encouraged me to have some yogurt, or a protein shake, or pudding. Even though I knew it it probably wouldn't hurt me to give in, I chose to stick to the plan as outlined by my surgeon.
     
    Maybe it's a small thing, but it seems to me that developing our self-discipline skills is a big part of this journey. I assume that my surgeon has chosen his post-op guidelines because he believes them to be the best way to ensure a successful start. Part of the information we learn on this & other WLS sites is just how much variation there is among surgeons, and their pre- and post-op plans. We know what other folks are being told by their doctors, and sometimes it might be easy to think, "Well, that person's doctor said it wasn't a problem, so why does my surgeon care? It won't really matter if I just....." I know that suggesting that someone have a yogurt is not the end of the world, but rationalization and justification are twin pathways on the slipperiest of slopes. I don't want to get started down that road. I will be the first to admit that my self-discipline skills can certainly use some work, but I am making the best effort I possible can to be successful on this journey.
  20. Like
    southernsoul reacted to Roo101769 for a blog entry, Hurtin' for Certain   
    Today is a bad day physically. My right leg is in a great deal of pain. My knee feels like it has an extremely tight band wrapped around it. I can barely bend it and walking is very difficult. And my calf is radiating pain down to my foot. ( vascular) Yesterday I felt pretty good overall and I was able to go grocery shopping. I spent extra time looking at things and reading labels, which kept me on my feet longer. So needless to say I am paying for it today. I do not fathom how people live with chronic pain for years. While my knee has been pretty bad for a few years now, it was manageable. I could stay off my leg, ice or apply heat and take meds to keep the pain down. But since I can no longer take my anti inflammatory medication ( due to taking warfarin) the pressure and pain has gotten out of control. And add to that my new pain from vascular swelling...It is more than I can take almost. I am at the end of my rope so to speak. If I do not get this weight off and get some relief I could very easily end up much worse off. I would either become a pill popper with pain meds ( I can take those, just not the stuff that will actually HELP my leg!) or a cripple. Neither is an option as a single parent of a four year old. That is my main reason for turning to bariatric surgery. I need it. I have so much empathy for those who have pain that there is no cure or treatment for. Losing weight won't "cure" me, but I have no doubt it will vastly improve my situation. On the plus side, I have been making changes I need to for success in my future. Yesterday I started eating a lot less, making sure it was full of protein while low in fat, calories and carbs. This is how life will be post op, so might as well get used to it now. And any weight loss I achieve from changing now is just a step closer to where I need to be!
  21. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Canary Diamond for a blog entry, This year's birthday, next year's gift   
    Yesterday was my 49th birthday. As I look back over the past almost-decade, I’m amazed at how much has changed, and how far I’ve come. Since I turned 40, I have gone through a number of big life changes, including divorce and remarriage, job/career changes, and achieving a college education. All of those changes have been enriching and empowering for me. It feels like my 40’s have just been one change after another. I have really come into my own over the past few years, in so many ways that I never anticipated. I am excited about becoming a professional counselor, and inspired by the opportunity to have a positive impact in my small corner of the world. I have been so blessed by supportive friends and family, and I am very grateful for the love that lifts me up each day.
     
    Over the past few years, the one major negative change has been my mobility. I can no longer do so many things that I used to do and still want to do. The degree of limitation in my life has become unacceptable to me, and the time to take action is now. So, as I celebrate turning 49, I am already looking ahead to my 50th birthday next year. At that time, I will be 11 months post-op. I have no idea how much weight I will have lost, but I trust that my physical condition will have changed for the better. My plan is to celebrate the beginning of my new decade by doing something physical that would not have been possible at the end of this decade. I don’t know exactly what it will be, but I’ll think of something. It seems very appropriate to celebrate turning 50 by doing something that was not possible for me at 49. I don’t expect to start running or take up mountain climbing; I just want to walk without pain. I want to be able to stand for more than a few minutes, and maybe even to dance again. I want to be able to walk around downtown, or go shopping at the mall. I want to be able to do projects around my house and work in the yard. When we go to the beach, I want to be able to take Tony’s hand and go for a walk in the sand. But until that day comes, I will be thankful to hold his hand as I take this next step, and give myself a gift for next year and beyond.
  22. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Canary Diamond for a blog entry, Happiness, self-esteem, and WLS   
    I'm going to lay out some thoughts I've been having. My intent is not to minimize the experience of anyone else, but simply to offer my own thoughts and beliefs. I know this journey is different for all of us, but I am always saddened when I see a post about how a pre-op person can't wait to "be skinny" or "look hot" or "feel good about myself again". Skinny does not equal happy. Skinny does not equal hot. Skinny does not equal feeling good about ourselves. There are just as many skinny people who are unhappy, unattractive, and down on themselves as fat people. Happiness, feeling attractive, and feeling good about oneself are characteristics generated from within, not without.
     
    A few years ago, at a very low point in my life, happiness seemed to me like a foreign concept. I could not remember the last time I had felt genuinely joyous or happy about anything. Intellectually, I knew that there were many things in my life that were desirable. I had a good job, a comfortable house, a dependable car, some money in the bank, food in the fridge, etc. But despite these things, I was unhappy. Now, I had good reasons to be unhappy, or so I thought. My marriage was failing, I was coming to grips with the fact that I would never be a mother, I wanted desperately to change my life but felt completely stuck, and so on. I remember reading somewhere that happy is a verb...it's an action, not a passive condition. I began to wonder...if I truly felt that there was no spark of happiness or joy in my life, who's fault was that? Who was responsible for my happiness? The answer, of course, is me. I was failing myself. I was not loving myself, or being kind to myself.
     
    I decided that if happy was an action, I was going to try and exercise my happy muscle. I was going to try and find one thing to feel happy about for a few minutes every day. My goal was 3-5 minutes a day of active happiness. I thought that would be super easy. After all, I had been able to identify good things in my life, so how hard could it be to think about them for a couple of minutes every day? Well, it was actually harder than I expected, but I stuck with it. I had to set a timer in the beginning, but I made myself do it every single day. Gradually, I noticed it got easier. Some days all I could come up with was something like the weather, or the fact that my bills were paid on time, but damn it...if that was all I had, then I was damn well going to focus on it & feel happy for 3 freakin' minutes.
     
    I eventually began to notice that I felt happier overall. I'm not sure why, because by this time I was just divorced and trying to figure out dating at 270 lbs & maintaining my new house, etc, but regardless, I felt happier. After meeting the man who has become my 2nd husband, he said that one of the things that attracted him to me was that I always seemed happy. I'm not saying that this is somehow a magic bullet against bad stuff happening, but holding happiness in my mind for a few minutes every day helps me to deal with the inevitable downs of life. It seems to me that consciously taking time to feel happy each day has somehow made a state of happiness more accessible in my brain.
     
    It's been almost 7 years since I began my happiness quest, and I can honestly say I feel happier today than I ever have in my life. To quote Charlotte in the Sex and The City movie, "I feel happy every day. Not all day every day, but every day I feel happy." In choosing to have the sleeve, I absolutely do not expect it to make me happy, because I'm already happy. I feel pretty good about myself today, this minute, at 300+ lbs. Yes, there are things I want to do, but I can't right now. Yes, I have pain every day & difficulty walking, but I still feel good about who I am and what I have to offer in my small corner of the world. I am aware that I am probably judged negatively by some people because of my weight, but I don't even really notice that. Today, I find it so much easier to find things in my life that make me genuinely happy. I am definitely looking forward to weighing less and seeing an improvement in my mobility, but I don't think it will make me somehow better or more acceptable or a more worthy person. I am enough, right now, just as I am. We all are, and we are all so very precious. Today, right now, at this very moment, we are beautiful, and we are valuable, and we are enough. I believe that with all my heart, and I hope you do, too.
  23. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Deezi V for a blog entry, Finally getting back to real food!   
    I finally got moved off liquids and on to purees and soft foods after week 4. I have continued to have my espresso protein shake almost every morning, because it satisfies my coffee craving. I use 1 cup of skim milk, 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Syntrax Nectar), and about 1 tbsp of Cafe Bustelo instant espresso crystals dissolved in a little warm water. Stick everything in the blender bottle, shake & go. 250 cals, 45g protein, 18g carbs.
     
    I have moved very gently into more solid foods like fine chicken salad and scrambled eggs. So many folks seem to have trouble with eggs at first, and I am so thankful that I haven't had any issues. I can definitely feel the restriction more with solid foods than with liquids. Everybody told me to expect that, but I was still worried that somehow I would be 'different' and be able to take in more than I was comfortable with.
     
    On my 4th week anniversary on the 19th, I was down 40 lbs, including the 18 lost on the pre-op diet. That was 5 days ago & the scale hasn't really moved since then. It's been going up & down the same half pound or so, but I'm trying not to let that bother me. All my clothes are stretchy, so I was afraid I wouldn't be able to tell anything by the way my clothes fit, but again that proved to be wrong. I can wear dresses & tops that have been too snug for several years. I can pull off my denim capris without unzipping or unbuttoning them first. (I'm not sure when that might come in handy, but I can do it.) I have a party to go to next week & I pulled out a cute dress I haven't worn in 5 years. Not only does it fit perfectly, but it looks REALLY great. Another bonus...maybe because I'm not very far out, my "girls" are still holding their own. My waist & belly look and feel smaller, but up top is still an attractive feature. Best of all, though, I'm walking and moving much easier. I have been trying to walk at the mall every couple of days & I'm doing some light weights at home. About every 3rd time I exercise, I notice that I can either do just a little more, or the same amount is easier. I have started parking farther away from entrances & I think I may even stick my handicapped hang tag in the glove box.
     
    I'm still on soft foods for another week or so, but I'm plenty satisfied with what I'm able to eat now. I haven't tried fish yet (other than canned tuna or sardines), but I plan to try some salmon this week. My next big milestone is to eat out in a restaurant, and I think fish will be a good thing to start with. Mostly I'm just happy to be feeling good & strong & on my way to a better me!
  24. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Deezi V for a blog entry, Finally getting back to real food!   
    I finally got moved off liquids and on to purees and soft foods after week 4. I have continued to have my espresso protein shake almost every morning, because it satisfies my coffee craving. I use 1 cup of skim milk, 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Syntrax Nectar), and about 1 tbsp of Cafe Bustelo instant espresso crystals dissolved in a little warm water. Stick everything in the blender bottle, shake & go. 250 cals, 45g protein, 18g carbs.
     
    I have moved very gently into more solid foods like fine chicken salad and scrambled eggs. So many folks seem to have trouble with eggs at first, and I am so thankful that I haven't had any issues. I can definitely feel the restriction more with solid foods than with liquids. Everybody told me to expect that, but I was still worried that somehow I would be 'different' and be able to take in more than I was comfortable with.
     
    On my 4th week anniversary on the 19th, I was down 40 lbs, including the 18 lost on the pre-op diet. That was 5 days ago & the scale hasn't really moved since then. It's been going up & down the same half pound or so, but I'm trying not to let that bother me. All my clothes are stretchy, so I was afraid I wouldn't be able to tell anything by the way my clothes fit, but again that proved to be wrong. I can wear dresses & tops that have been too snug for several years. I can pull off my denim capris without unzipping or unbuttoning them first. (I'm not sure when that might come in handy, but I can do it.) I have a party to go to next week & I pulled out a cute dress I haven't worn in 5 years. Not only does it fit perfectly, but it looks REALLY great. Another bonus...maybe because I'm not very far out, my "girls" are still holding their own. My waist & belly look and feel smaller, but up top is still an attractive feature. Best of all, though, I'm walking and moving much easier. I have been trying to walk at the mall every couple of days & I'm doing some light weights at home. About every 3rd time I exercise, I notice that I can either do just a little more, or the same amount is easier. I have started parking farther away from entrances & I think I may even stick my handicapped hang tag in the glove box.
     
    I'm still on soft foods for another week or so, but I'm plenty satisfied with what I'm able to eat now. I haven't tried fish yet (other than canned tuna or sardines), but I plan to try some salmon this week. My next big milestone is to eat out in a restaurant, and I think fish will be a good thing to start with. Mostly I'm just happy to be feeling good & strong & on my way to a better me!
  25. Like
    southernsoul got a reaction from Canary Diamond for a blog entry, Happiness, self-esteem, and WLS   
    I'm going to lay out some thoughts I've been having. My intent is not to minimize the experience of anyone else, but simply to offer my own thoughts and beliefs. I know this journey is different for all of us, but I am always saddened when I see a post about how a pre-op person can't wait to "be skinny" or "look hot" or "feel good about myself again". Skinny does not equal happy. Skinny does not equal hot. Skinny does not equal feeling good about ourselves. There are just as many skinny people who are unhappy, unattractive, and down on themselves as fat people. Happiness, feeling attractive, and feeling good about oneself are characteristics generated from within, not without.
     
    A few years ago, at a very low point in my life, happiness seemed to me like a foreign concept. I could not remember the last time I had felt genuinely joyous or happy about anything. Intellectually, I knew that there were many things in my life that were desirable. I had a good job, a comfortable house, a dependable car, some money in the bank, food in the fridge, etc. But despite these things, I was unhappy. Now, I had good reasons to be unhappy, or so I thought. My marriage was failing, I was coming to grips with the fact that I would never be a mother, I wanted desperately to change my life but felt completely stuck, and so on. I remember reading somewhere that happy is a verb...it's an action, not a passive condition. I began to wonder...if I truly felt that there was no spark of happiness or joy in my life, who's fault was that? Who was responsible for my happiness? The answer, of course, is me. I was failing myself. I was not loving myself, or being kind to myself.
     
    I decided that if happy was an action, I was going to try and exercise my happy muscle. I was going to try and find one thing to feel happy about for a few minutes every day. My goal was 3-5 minutes a day of active happiness. I thought that would be super easy. After all, I had been able to identify good things in my life, so how hard could it be to think about them for a couple of minutes every day? Well, it was actually harder than I expected, but I stuck with it. I had to set a timer in the beginning, but I made myself do it every single day. Gradually, I noticed it got easier. Some days all I could come up with was something like the weather, or the fact that my bills were paid on time, but damn it...if that was all I had, then I was damn well going to focus on it & feel happy for 3 freakin' minutes.
     
    I eventually began to notice that I felt happier overall. I'm not sure why, because by this time I was just divorced and trying to figure out dating at 270 lbs & maintaining my new house, etc, but regardless, I felt happier. After meeting the man who has become my 2nd husband, he said that one of the things that attracted him to me was that I always seemed happy. I'm not saying that this is somehow a magic bullet against bad stuff happening, but holding happiness in my mind for a few minutes every day helps me to deal with the inevitable downs of life. It seems to me that consciously taking time to feel happy each day has somehow made a state of happiness more accessible in my brain.
     
    It's been almost 7 years since I began my happiness quest, and I can honestly say I feel happier today than I ever have in my life. To quote Charlotte in the Sex and The City movie, "I feel happy every day. Not all day every day, but every day I feel happy." In choosing to have the sleeve, I absolutely do not expect it to make me happy, because I'm already happy. I feel pretty good about myself today, this minute, at 300+ lbs. Yes, there are things I want to do, but I can't right now. Yes, I have pain every day & difficulty walking, but I still feel good about who I am and what I have to offer in my small corner of the world. I am aware that I am probably judged negatively by some people because of my weight, but I don't even really notice that. Today, I find it so much easier to find things in my life that make me genuinely happy. I am definitely looking forward to weighing less and seeing an improvement in my mobility, but I don't think it will make me somehow better or more acceptable or a more worthy person. I am enough, right now, just as I am. We all are, and we are all so very precious. Today, right now, at this very moment, we are beautiful, and we are valuable, and we are enough. I believe that with all my heart, and I hope you do, too.
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