Friday, January 27, 2012

Touched By BOOBs

I have been truly touched by the BOOBs.  Sorry, that's not nearly as naughty as the title suggests. *wink*

Seriously, though --- I cannot tell y'all how much I appreciate the outpouring of love and support that came to me from my last post.

I also cannot tell you how much it helped me to be able to share my issue with you guys.  The fact that I didn't have to shove my pain and feeling into the trash compactor in my soul will help me heal my heart and ,ultimately, my body, since so often it takes fuel (food) to push our feelings down.

Your willingness to cooperate with my need to share while maintaining my privacy just makes me that much more grateful.

I am feeling better and working hard to get back to my normal.

Again, I can't thank you guys enough.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Kinda Weird and Unusual Post

Okay, it's not so much the post itself that is weird and unusual as it is the way I am choosing to handle the post that's kinda weird and unusual.  The post itself was just a little hard and painful to write but I really needed to do it.  I really needed to get it off my chest.  I felt like this little BOOBs community that we have here would be the best place to do so.  In my short time that I have been participating I have been truly amazed at the support, kindness, and cheerleading that is exhibited by you guys.  This community does a great job of maintaining positivity and respect which can be a rare thing on the 'ol Interwebs.

So here is where it gets a little out of the ordinary.  I have written a post that I want to share with all you BOOBs ladies, however, I don't want to share it publicly in the space of my blog.  I have mentioned in the past that, while I am not particularly open or vocal in my real life about having this blog, I haven't gone to huge lengths to ensure that it is 100% totally, completely anonymous. While I have never been confronted by anyone in my real life about my blog, I do know of a handful of avenues in which people from my real life could stumble upon this space.  There is smallest chance that they have already found it and lurk about from time to time.

The topic of my post is deeply personal and not something I am ready to share in my day to day life.  If I were some kind computer genius whiz kid I am sure I could do some extra fancy encryption maneuver to share the post with you while maintaining my real life privacy-- but, alas, I am definitely not a computer genius so I have decided to do the best thing I know how.

I will email the post directly to any of you who are interested in reading it.  If you will just leave a comment letting me know you are interested in reading it -- I will reply to you with the post via email.  I welcome your feedback, advice, words of wisdom, etc since I know that this is something many of you may have experienced it also.  The only request I have is that no one references the subject matter in my blog comments.

I know this so unusual and that I am asking for a fair amount of extra effort and 'rules' on this. But hopefully, once you read my post you will understand.   Thanks again in advance.

BTW, fair warning, it's kind of a long post so you might wanna go pee and get a snack before you start reading.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Holla At Ya' Fitness Pal

Yup!!  That's right, I did it.  I finally signed up on My Fitness Pal.  Through out my whole lapband journey I have been very resistant to food tracking.  While I know it is absolutely essential to many of you guys' success --- for me, it only serves to feed my OCD food crazy and take me to a negative place.

For now, I am doing it as an experiment of sorts -- no pressure.  I know that many of you guys are on My Fitness Pal and I also understand that you can "friend" people on it ---  if you are on MFP --- then holla' back at me.  You can search me by my email or by my username: petmyport

Appreciation for Kindness and Fine Men

Hey Y'all.  It's been a minute or fourteen since we chatted ---- I have missed you guys.  It is gonna take me fo-evah to write this considering it's really cold outside and I am snuggified on the couch under my binkie with a hot cup o' tea and last night's premiere of 'Justified' on the TV.  Seriously- I started this post at 7:30am :/

Let's all just take a minute and think a naughty thought or four about Raylan Givens.  Daaaayum!!!  That man is 43 kinds of fine.

Anywhatsit, thanks a bunch for all your kind words and thoughts about my Granddad.  The family was shockingly well behaved, with the exception of my Grandmaw --- she is in full blown dementia and it has made her shitballs crazy and plain ol' mean.

One by product of my Granddad's illness and passing is that my Mom was able to re-kindle her relationship with her brother who she has been estranged from for 25 yrs. Now, my Mom and Uncle claim that the reason for their estrangement is due (come to find out) to my Grandmother manipulating their relationship to keep them apart and create tension between them.  While I am sure this is true I can't help but call BULLSHIT on the two of them just a smidge.  (I haven't actually called BS to my Momma because Momma sooooo cannot handle it right now, but I will someday soon.)  I think it's just a little too damn convenient to blame 25 yrs of not speaking/interacting with each other on my Grandmaw's manipulation.  I can't help but question how much they each valued their relationship if they were willing to let one person destroy it.  There were bigger issues at hand that contributed to their failed relationship and I call BS on laying all of it at my Grandmaw's feet.  Ultimately, while I am happy for my Mom that she has renewed her relationship with her brother, I have a really hard time trusting that this is real and gonna last.  My family is flighty and fickle when it comes to their relationships with each other.  I also have a really hard time investing emotionally in a relationship with my Uncle (who I was extremely attached to when I was very little) because when it all goes to shit it wouldn't be the first time I got attached and then got my heart broken because the "grown ups" got pissed and walked away.   We shall see.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Way Things Are

Prolly gonna be MIA for a bit. My grandfather passed on Sunday night and between the emotional exhaustion of knowing what's to come with the funeral along with the extreme physical exhaustion I have with this cold I am trying to shake I can barely put together a coherent thought.

Thanks to JRD, Rachel, and Speck for tagging me in the fun tag fest going around. I am working on my responses but it may be another day or two. I really do love these kinds of posts. I love knowing what other people wanna know about me.

I am really dreading this week and not because of the funeral. Long story short, my grandmother is nutty as squirrel shit. Her crazy is a special piquant blend of delusional, paranoid, manipulative, and, come to find out, downright mean. She has been outright nasty to my mother and uncle while they have provided 24/7 care to my grandfather. My Mom is very wounded right now. I know she want to lay all details of my grandmother's terrible behaviour on me when I get to town. Not to mention multiple revelations about my grandfather learned over this time spent caring for him. I am not ready or interested in the airing of family dirty laundry that is to come.

10 years ago my paternal grandfather died and it ripped my Dad's side of the family apart, literally. The end result was half of my Dad's family not speaking to the other half and me left with something that bears no resemblance to the family I grew up with. I have only managed in past year or so to come to some kind of emotional conclusions about what happened with my Dad's family and how that impacts my role in our family.

I am much less close to my mother's family but nonetheless I would really prefer to not go through the same kind BS as they rip each other to shreds like my Dad's family did. I know I seem really pessimistic but there are so many more factors that that make me fairly certain it's gonna be nasty. Quite frankly, I really can't tolerate yet another dose of my family's dysfunction.

I have no idea what kind of mine field I will walking into on Wednesday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

10 Things Thursday -- I Mipe Hab A Colb Edition

It's time for 10 Things Thursday!! Thanks to Laura.

1. My nose is running non-stop. And not the kind of running that burns calories. One nostril is stopped up and I am sneezing every five minutes. I didn't workout today because I seriously thought I would pass out from lack of O2. I haven't been sick in a very long time. I find it suspect that I got sick after a couple months of not working out and hitting the junk food.

2. Its winter time and I am a total soup slut ( not to mention that soup is band cooperative). I made Shrimp and Corn Chowder this afternoon and it is rocking my face off. Like, I wish I could post a sample of it here because it would rock your face off too!!

3. Tonight is a new episode of Grey's Anatomy. I really don't like the show as much as I used to, but I am soooo ready for new TV I can hardly wait.

4. My New Year's cleaning/ organization projects are coming along nicely. I am organizing all my recipes so that they are on my computer/iPad. I want to get rid of all the paper that I never go through because it's too much of a pain. The Hubs is currently rehabbing my cast iron skillets. I still need to reorganize the garage but it has been too cold to go out there.

5. Another one of our "projects" for the new year is possibly getting busy (Ha!) having a kid. So here is my question--- how many of you have been preggo after your band? I have found very little info on Lapband and pregnancy. I really wanna be prepared for how the band may affect a pregnancy? Did you guys get varying input from your OBGYN and your WLS doc?

6. That being said-- I am really gonna try to not let this blog turn into a baby/fertility blog(not that there is anything wrong with them) but I figure you guys tuned in to talk about LapBand stuff not my lady mucus and whatnot.

7. My family is driving me nuts and, like Forrest Gump, that's all I'm gonna say about that.

8. I am soooo tired. This runny nose/cold is wearing me out. I have been blowing my nose so much that my nose is chapped. I have even been using the lotiony tissues. :(

9. Whenever I have a cold I always want a milkshake. Usually, it's legit bc I have a sore throat --- however, I don't have a sore throat, yet. I just want a milkshake cause I don't feel good, dammit.

10. Lastly, big ups and shout out to Andrea for reaching Onederland!!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

If You Are Looking For The End....It Doesn't Exist

So I have a lot of things tumbling around in my head.  One thing that has been kicking around my noggin is a comment exchange that I had on FB last night with a friend of a friend, let's call her Laura*.  Laura, just so happens to be bff with my friend Terri*, the wife in the couple I discussed here

Laura has been perpetually on Weight Watchers for what seems like the past 2+ yrs.  While she has had some weight loss progress, she appears to struggle with the yo-yo effect.  And once again, it makes me sad for her because she obviously has dedication and desire but she is fighting against all those factors that we have all fought against.  Now, I have to give my personal opinion of Laura.  I am not especially fond of her. I politely tolerate her because she is very important to Terri, but I personally think that she hasn't always been the best kind of friend to Terri.  

[Terri has struggled with infertility and is basically like an Aunt to Laura's 2 kids --  Terri and her husband are very attached to the kids and Laura has used the kids as pawns to manipulate Terri on more than one occasion. So, yeah, my opinion of Laura is somewhat biased. I have generally found Laura to be pretty judgmental and very passive-aggressive.] 

So this was Laura's FB status last night:

"Trying to get back on track. Ate much better today and worked out while watching (Son)'s basketball practice. Just need to make this a habit. Gotta get back on track. Lost momentum. 2012 is my year to get this weight off! I'm determined. :)"

We have all said it, hell, some of us just got done saying it, like, 5 minutes ago.  However, is it just me or does it take someone who has struggled with weight for a lifetime to read between the lines that maybe she isn't 100% convinced that she will be successful. Maybe I am injecting too many of my own bias toward Laura into the context?  I don't know.  

I commented with this:  

"While I know that everyone has to take road that is right for them, the day I got my LapBand ranks as one of the best days of my life. It has made my life better in more ways than I can count."

I wanted to start a dialogue.  I wanted her to know that I am open and willing to talk about LapBand and all the pros/cons.  I also wanted to point out that I have lost 90 lbs in the time it took her to lose and gain 30lbs multiple times.  Not because I am somehow better, but because I finally got the right tool.  It's like we are both trying to build an out-of-the-box bookshelf.  The only difference is, she is using a butter knife and I managed to get my hands on the power drill.  Can she build the bookshelf with the butter knife -- absolutely!!  However it's prolly gonna take a loooong time and who knows how sturdy it will be when she gets it put together.  My bookshelf will take far less time to build and is probably gonna be quite a bit more sturdy when it is all said and done.  Once again, not because I am any better or possess any great carpentry skills -- I just have the right tool.  

This was her response:  

 "AJ, you and [Hubs] have done wonderful! Im so glad that the LapBand has worked for you guys. You both look amazing. I've chosen a different road, but same result. I can't wait to finish my journey. Thanks for the encouraging words."

Okay, so on the surface it has a polite enough "Thanks, but No Thanks" vibe about it.  And, once again, I know I am injecting my bias, but I felt a definite tone of "Well, I am choosing to lose weight the real way and not take the easy way out." Maybe it's all in my head ---  maybe it's not fair of me to ask y'all to comment on someone you don't know.  

There was one statement that really stuck out to me and made me question if she really will be able to achieve long term success.  When she says " I can't wait to finish my journey."  That is when the sirens and bells went off in my head.  She doesn't get it ---- the journey is never really over.  That is how we have all lost and gained so many pounds in the past before we realized that we needed something more.  We needed a tool to help us on this journey --- we need the motherscratchin' powerdrill.   Before my band I used to think that there was a finish line.  It was located just past my goal weight -- once I reached goal weight I could stop, relax, breath ---- do anything but worry about my weight.   Of course while I was doing all that stoppin', relaxin', and breathin', I would be packing the weight back on. 
I can only hope that she bucks the odds and is wildly successful with WW or someday finally realizes that the journey never ends and she needs the damn power drill.  

*Names have been changed

Post #1 of 28 for today.....Why I extra super HATE the Biggest Loser

I know that some of y'all are gonna flip your ports after reading that.... sorry (not really).  While I totally get why many of you guys really like it, I think it has done more damage to those of us overbese folk than it could ever hope to fix.

I saw the BL Reunion show a few weeks ago just like LapBand Gal. I thought about writing a post on how much I loathe the show then but I got distracted by something sparkly, jingly, or shiny I am sure.  But LBG's post today reminded me.  Anywaaays, I only tuned into the show to see if they would be "balanced" [i.e. show both those successfully maintaining their weight loss and those who have not]  in reuniting their past contestants ---- and of course, they weren't.   They only showed the "success" stories.
Don't get me started on how that only reinforces the cycle of shame and self-loathing that comes from weight loss failures.  Biggest Loser claims to be a source of uplifting inspiration but, in reality, they do the same thing as everyone else, they act as though the contestants that re-gained don't exist -- because they shouldn't, right?  They failed and they should hide away in shame.  {insert sarcasm font here}  And we wonder why so many WLS bloggers fall out of the blogosphere and go silent the minute they experience a setback in their process.  

The show is so unbelievably unrealistic it is almost cruel.  Outside of a TV show or super expensive health spa, this kind of environment cannot be duplicated.  These folks live in a bubble where all their food is controlled, they are made/able to exercise as much as 8 hrs daily w/trainers, and they are living with people who share their same common goal.  Losing this weight is all they have to worry about for 3-6 mos.  On the ranch these folks are cut off from the world - they don't have to go to the grocery store and deal with temptation there, they don't have a family that is bitchin' and whinin' about Mom/Dad's new healthy menu, they don't have to wash clothes/clean house/go to work/take kids to soccer, all of which eat into the 8 hr workout schedule.

One of my last pre-band weight loss attempts came after the 2nd or 3rd season of BL when I convinced myself (because of the folks on the show) that I needed to get "extreme" like on the show.  I wasn't working at the time so I did my best to live like the contestants.  I kept my calorie intake to around 1200/day and spent up to 5 hrs a day on the treadmill/elliptical.  I was starving, weak, and cranky but I did lose 15 lbs in one month.  Then I hit a wall of fatigue that kept me down for about 10 days in which I gained 10 lbs back.  Even better was the emotional/mental slugfest that went on after I failed yet again -- it was clear I was just not as dedicated as the people on the show, so maybe I deserved to be fat, right?

The BL "success" stories are, as LBG pointed out, the folks who changed their careers to something in the diet/fitness industry.  They either got endorsement/speaking deals for product lines or they became personal trainers.  Honestly, and this is just my opinion, I wonder if they have gotten their heads as healthy as their bodies?  Are they any less obsessed/motivated by food or body image than they were when they were obese?  Or is it just okay now because being screwed up in the head about food and body image is okay if works toward making the scale move down?

And the last reason I really don't like The Biggest Loser?  There is a perceptible negative attitude toward WLS.  I admit I haven't watched the show in a very long time I gave up somewhere around Season 4, but I remember lots of "shit talk" about weight loss surgery from both the trainers and contestants.  The overriding sentiment on the show toward WLS being that it was a "cop out" and/or "easy way out," which we all know isn't the case.  Weight loss is a challenge no matter how you do it --- and keeping it off is even harder, surgery or not, because we are never finished.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Psssst..........Can You Keep A Secret???? Me either.

First things first, I had a great NYE.  I felt great. I got told I looked great.....a lot!!  I set out with the best intentions to get lots of pictures now that I am not afraid of the camera but constant photo snapping still feels odd to me so these are all I got.

This was our whole group right after midnight.  I had already had a couple 4 glasses of wine. You can tell by my belly pooch that I was hella relaxed!! Ha! 

Do You Have The Secret? 

Lap Band Gal posted this  in which she asked if any of us out here in blogland felt as though we had the "secret" to weight loss? To which I thought in my head "Ummm, hells yeah!!!"  The secret for me was ......wait for it....... I cannot do this [i.e. lose a life changing amount of weight] alone.  Oh, I have full faith that I can do this but I now realize that I can't do this all by myself.

I often joke that my "Moderator Switch" [you know, the switch in your head that says 'Hey, you can ease up on the cheese fries because believe it or not you are full AND you have had plenty of food today AND this isn't last day cheese fries will exist on this planet.']  is broken and that is why I need the LapBand.  I am not sure if it was broken over time after being ignored and abused or if it was faulty when it was installed at the factory but either way the damn thing doesn't work. I felt like the human equivalent to the busted, dirty ass car that's rolling down the freeway making rumbling sounds and blowing black, stinking smoke from the exhaust.  That car is running, it's getting from Point A to Point B but it's obvious something is not functioning properly.   So I got a LapBand and for the first time, in a long time I don't feel broken.  Now I feel like a zippy, shiny sports car that has been freshly tuned up.  So, yeah, I do feel like I have the secret.

Can You Keep The Secret??

Well, I can't.  Just an FYI - I am terrible at keeping secrets and it pisses me off when people ask me to keep them.  And the last secret I want to keep is that of my LapBand.  Honestly, I want to tell everyone.   But here's the thing... not everyone wants to know the secret.

Right now, I have about 4 people in my life who I feel would benefit from the LapBand. 2 of these 4 people are a married couple who The Hubs and I count as our oldest and best couple friends.   They totally used to be our partners in crime --  the 4 of us could pig out and lay around with the best of them.   Then The Hubs and I got our LapBands and things have been weird ever since.

This is difficult for me because with every pound I lose I feel the divide between us getting wider and wider. Our lives has changed so dramatically......for the better. I want that for my friends because they deserve it!!  We deserve to be active, healthy, and  awesome together.  I have traded my All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet for a double scoop of Zumba class and I feel amazing for it.  I want them to have that too!!  However, if were to even

The hardest part is that I know they feel terrible mentally, emotionally, physically.  I can see it in the way they carry themselves; I can hear it in their voices when they talk about all the aspects of their lives that disappoint them.  These are all subtle clues that that you can only recognize when you have been there.  You can only see this when you have felt like crap day in and day out and you can only hear the disappointment when you have felt like a failure at life.    I wish, wish, wish that I could magically let them experience how great we get to feel everyday.

The problem is I can't say anything because no matter what I say all they will hear is "We are skinny, cool, and awesome now and you aren't good enough for us unless you get skinny, cool and awesome too!!"  They won't believe how much better we feel --- they will swear it's just all that skinny people sugar-free Kool-Aid we drank.  But in their minds they don't need LapBands because they "don't need to conform to society's idea of beauty" and they " get around pretty good for someone of their size" and
"they don't eat THAT much it's just ____________ (insert blame free excuse here)". But honestly, I don't know how much longer I can go without saying anything.  I don't know how much longer I can go watching them abuse themselves with food and inactivity.

So how do you do it?  How do you look your best friends in the face and say "Y'all need an intervention."  Or better yet, how do you keep the secret when all you want to do is scream it from the rooftops??