So Much Wisdom

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, September 30, 2010 Thursday, September 30, 2010

A couple of milestones have come and gone for me and yet I've not gotten my act together to even blog about them.

First, I hit the halfway marker to my “goal weight” a few weeks ago. I put the aforementioned goal weight in quotation marks because I'm fairly certain that I will be setting a lower final goal for myself after I reach this one, but in my adult life, I've never been under this particular weight so it is hard for me to contemplate I could ever weigh LESS than my current goal weight.

If you're confused by the last paragraph, you're not alone. So am I. I deliberately talk AROUND weight numbers. For someone who prides herself on her writing's clarity, this kind of number anonymity proves a challenge.

Its as if I'm in high school, passing notes back and forth about “Him”. You know, “He is SOOOO CUTE!” and “He, like, TOTALLY like likes Angela but she only likes him and I hope he realizes that I TOTALLY like, like him and he asks me to check out his Nirvana CD collection this weekend”.

Then I TOTALLY had to figure out what “Smells Like Teen Spirit” even meant and remember, this was the dark ages, before Google and the interwebs so I had to watch a TON of MTV and read the CD jacket over and over again. I figured out that Kurt Cobain was talking about teen apathy but the quest continued because then I had to figure out what apathy meant. Then I got bored and figured that if I made out with the guy, he wouldn't really care whether I knew what the song was about or not.

I digress.

Basically, I don't tell my number. No, not THAT number! I'm totally open about THAT number. It's 27.

But there is NO WAY I'm posting on a web site how much I weigh. Forget it. My HUSBAND reads this!! Couples need BOUNDARIES, people. He may poop with the door open and ask me to pop his zits, but that doesn't mean the mystery isn't still ALIVE!

He's been with me through wedding planning induced madness, fertility treatments, a 36 hour natural childbirth, post-partum depression, sleep deprivation, PMS and the plate throwing incident of 2004 when Friends went off the air but I'm pretty sure he'd start packing his bags if he knew how much I weigh.

Also, my sister reads this and no matter how fat I am I always want her to think I'm thinner than her. Because sisters love each other like that. Oh, and mom? Jess threw a party, WITH BEER, when you went to visit grandma that one time. Neh neh neh neh boo boo!

Anyway, I'm kind of private about my 'number' but I still want to share with you that I'm over half way to my goal!

The second milestone (See, I said I had a 'couple' of milestones to report but I know you're bored so I'll get right to it) is that I'm no longer 'obese' but now officially in the overweight category of fatness.

Awesome! Now when people use the term 'overweight' to describe me because they are trying to be polite, they will also be accurate. I love accuracy!

I remember at the beginning of my Lap-Band journey I would scour the blogs looking for wisdom from those who were at their halfway points. For me, halfway to my goal seemed so much more attainable than 'goal'. I just couldn't get my head around the fact that I might actually settle into a 'normal' weight someday. I still can't. Halfway to goal seemed within my reach.

So I'd read bullet pointed posts about “What I've Learned,” nodding my head in agreement, getting excited about my turn to use bullet points and be wise and inspire. Unfortunately I can't seem to get bullet points to format correctly on my blog and, well, I'm not much wiser.

The one phrase that keeps running through my head is one that we learned in our childbirth class.

Husband and I decided together that we really wanted to have Ruby naturally, without any kind of interventions or drugs. We TOTALLY make decisions about my body together because he TOTALLY had a vote on whether or not I'd push a 8 pound watermelon out of my vagina without an epidural – or illegal drugs.

In any case, we got all hippy dippy and took Bradley method courses where we held ice in our hands, dealing with the pain of the numbing cold --- because your vagina ripping open and cold hands are TOTALLY in the same category of pain --- and practiced visualization techniques to help me focus on something other than the pain and the fact that he was eating a turkey sandwich while I was getting giant hemorrhoids from the 4 hours of pushing. You know, really helpful stuff.

But there was one phrase that the instructor insisted our partners say to us over and over again, no matter what was going on, no matter how hard it was, no matter what we said or how we screamed. She said our partners should tell us WE CAN DO IT.

Husband must have said that to me over 1,000 times while I was bringing our baby into the world. And its pretty much the only wisdom I have to impart to all of you new bandsters today: YOU CAN DO IT. YOU CAN DO IT. YOU CAN DO IT.


My Supported BOOBS

Posted by Sherry , Monday, September 27, 2010 Monday, September 27, 2010

Well! Back from a very BOOBY weekend and feeling more supported than ever! Get it?

Seriously though, the 1st annual gathering of banded bloggers was a raging success. Kudos to all those who planned, stressed and organized to make the weekend such a great one.

Before I relay some my weekend highlights, I will of course answer your most pressing question: What does Amy W. wear to bed?

Answer?: A full coverage burka. Seriously. The woman may as well be a NUN as conservative as she is. I never even got a GLIMPSE of the breasticles.

I should have roomed with Gen, who, I discovered, asks her roomies to get in the shower with her.

She “claims” she needed bathing assistance due to the broken elbow she suffered during our first night of vodka induced debauchery but I think that was all a ploy to try to get her roomate Jennifer in the shower with her. You decide.

With each person I encountered, my appreciation for my Lap-Band grew. Women who claim on their blogs to be shy or wallflowers became animated the minute you asked them how much weight they've lost.

Those who have reached 'goal' were open and generous with their tips, stories and praise for the rest of us.

Those who were brand new to banded-life reminded us of the importance of appreciating the journey.

While I didn't have the opportunity to accost celebrities like Gilly did or find new boots like Angie did, I did find in Chicago exactly what I expected to find: A great group of women who put the “awe” in “awesome”.

p.s. a giant 'thanks' to my roomies (Alexis & Amy) who put up with my very 'over-served' self on Saturday afternoon!


Posted by Sherry , Sunday, September 19, 2010 Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here's something I never thought I'd say:

"Excuse me, miss? Do you have these jeggings in a longer length?”

Of course, I also never thought I'd say “Don't put your foot in your mouth while you're eating your goldfish crackers.”, but these are the kinds of phrases that happen to you with age and parenthood.

If you don't know what 'jeggings' are, not to worry. They are a fashion trend that has the life span of the house fly circling my fruit bowl.

Just long enough to take me through Chicago in style!

Do You Diet?

Posted by Sherry , Saturday, September 18, 2010 Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lately, I've been thinking a bunch about dieting. To me, this train of thought is akin to thinking about old boyfriends, bangs and stirrup pants: nostalgic but not something I want to be a part of my life again. Yet, I can't escape it.

I've talked about how I feel regarding dieting, the word 'diet' and diet foods in the past, so it should be no surprise to my readers that I really dislike the subject in general.

However, all disagreements on the semantics of the word aside, I'm wondering from my banded readers if you still 'diet'?

For instance, do you only buy low fat dairy products, choose white meat chicken all the time, rarely allow yourself dessert or only eat low fat products, etc.? Do you feel 'guilty' when you eat full fat ice cream but not when you eat 'no fat' frozen yogurt? Do you have days when you say “I'm eating what I want today” vs. days when you say “I've eaten so well!”

While I don't think being banded has been 'easy,' I am fairly comfortable saying that it has made losing weight much easier for me, both mentally and physically.

I'm what you would deem a 'slow loser' (about 1.5 pounds a week) and I do blame part of that on bad genetics, my metabolism and the Bush administration – but if I really reflect, I have to wonder if it is also because I've not been traditionally 'dieting'.

Again, semantics aside – I realize that the band 'rules' are a diet in and of themselves – but what I mean is that I've left crappy diet foods in my past. I don't ask for the butter sauce on the side because I'm eating so little of the fish anyway and I want to enjoy it. I don't eat three low fat cookies, I just have ½ of one regular cookie -- and not every day. I try to make good, healthy, choices almost all of the time, but “good and healthy” to me doesn't equal non-fat sour cream or spray-on butter.

Weight Watchers rules, tips and suggestions used to be just a part of my life. I always bought non-fat dairy products, asked for dressing and sauces on the side, used artificial sweeteners in EVERYTHING, went for the fro-yo instead of the ice cream.

I didn't think about it. I just did it. In many ways, I believe I polluted my body with artificial crap in the name of being 'healthy'. And I don't like it.

Since being banded I've not thrown caution to the wind, per se. But I have decided that because I now have the portion size problem under control (which for me, was my biggest weight control battle--not the bad foods but eating too much of the good foods), I should also be making the 'healthy' choices. Fresh, real ingredients as much as possible.

Not sure if I'm making sense here, I just needed to put it out there and get some feedback.

If you are a bandster, do you 'diet' and do you like dieting?

Desire vs. Fear

Posted by Sherry , Wednesday, September 8, 2010 Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Over the last few days I've given my friend Kate some clothing that no longer fits me. A few of the pieces have been sitting in a bag in my closet for quite awhile, just waiting for a new home.

Before Kate even had her surgery I contemplated putting them up on my blog for the 'sisterhood' but kept putting it off. I told myself that it was too much work – a chore really. I'd have to take the photos, upload them to my blog and then find the time to mail them out to a deserving lady. I mean, Dexter season 4 had arrived from Netflix and Weeds was in the queue. I really didn't have time for such a project.

Then Kate asked me if I had anything I could pass down to her as most of her summer clothing was getting much too big.

See, here in North Cackalacky we enjoy the effects of global warming for about 6 months out of the year. I've heard that mosquitoes petitioned the Bush administration to relax the carbon emisson laws below the bible belt so they'd have more time during the year to help Ann Coulter write her new book. In any case, we'll be wearing shorts around here for quite awhile longer. Its freakin' hot and will be until Turkey day or the nearest iceberg melts and hits Hilton Head. Whichever comes first.

Kate is a good friend and so of course I was happy to pass some clothes on to her but it shouldn't surprise you that giving the clothes to her was easier than mailing them out. And not just because going to the post office requires a brush up on my meditation techniques and a double dose of Xanax.

Giving the clothes to Kate is easier because I know I can GET THEM BACK. Yep. I said it. I'm afraid I'll need those clothes again. Despite my weight loss success, despite the changes in lifestyle that I'm making and now finding a routine part of life, I still have the 'gaining it back' fear. And honestly, its a big dark cloud that I'm not even READY to see disappear.

I'm still working through all my weight related issues. Being only 5.5 months post-surgery I'm not quite at a point in my journey when the DESIRE to be healthy and thin is stronger and more poignant than the FEAR of being fat and out of shape. I'm hoping I get to that point and I have faith that I WILL get there, I'm just not there yet.

I'm not 100% certain of this but when I read the S.O.B. stories and blog updates of those who have been successful at maintaining their weight loss (banded or not) I notice that many of them (not all of them though) have actually crossed that threshold. It's no longer fear that is driving their diet, regular weigh-ins, making the right food choices and exercising, it is desire.

Maybe that is a distinction that in the long term, doesn't make a difference for many of you but for me I think it is going to be a real turning point.

Right now the fear of gaining the weight back helps move me forward. Most days it is fear of being a colossal failure that helps me work my band. It's the fear of having put myself and my family through the obstacle of a selective surgery for nothing that keeps me choosing yogurt over cookies. It's the fear of never getting the chance to wear designer jeans thet makes me crank out another set of abdominal exercises. It's the fear of looking back and seeing "what could have been" that makes me put my fork down.

I'm not ready to let go of the fear yet. I'm not ready to say good-bye to overweight Sherry. Heck, I'm not even ready to say goodbye to my size 18 Lands End Bermuda shorts. And I think that's ok, for now.

Kate pinky swore, signed an affadavit in her own blood and promised me her best piece of David Yurman jewelry that once she no longer needed these clothes she'd offer them back to me before sending them off to the 'sisterhood' or Goodwill.

I'm hoping, however, that when that day comes, I'll be ready for the clothes, and my fear, to find a new home.