weighted down

[Warning: This is a little heavy for a Saturday. I don’t normally write like this, but I need to get it out of my system. Proceed with caution.]

There’s something wrong with me. Maybe it’s hormonal, maybe it’s my thyroid, maybe something has snapped in my head. I don’t know. All I know is that something has to change soon, because I can’t stay like this much longer.

I went to the doctor on Friday for both this latest sinus infection, as well as the pulled muscle in my ribs that made it basically impossible to raise my left arm. She gave me antibiotics for the cold and muscle relaxers for my rib, so that’s fine. But what isn’t fine is the number on the scale. It knocked the wind out of me.

I’ve written before about my gastric bypass surgery, which I had nearly 8 years ago. At the time, I weighed 265 pounds. (I’m only 5’5″.) I lost a little over 100 pounds after the surgery. My lowest weight was around 155 – 160 pounds, at which point I wore a size 10 and felt pretty damn hot. Eventually my weight settled around the 165-170 point, but that was fine. I wore a size 12, and I said that as long as I could shop in the regular clothing stores and not the big-girl stores, I was happy. And I was.

Since I had Catie, something has changed. I was so sick during my pregnancy, by the time she was born, my net weight gain for the whole pregnancy was 1 pound. So within a couple of weeks, I was not only back in my pre-pregnancy jeans, I was in my size 10 skinny jeans again. Which was, well, weird. Of course, all that weight I lost during pregnancy was muscle, not fat, so I expected to gain some of it back as I regained my strength. But I think I’ve gone a little overboard.

Essentially, in the past 2 1/2 years or so, I’ve gained 30 pounds. That seems excessive, no? And I get it. I’m not as active as I was. I eat too much crap. I have this mental block about throwing food away or being “wasteful” (no doubt instilled in me by my mother). But if Catie eats three bites of her peanut butter & jelly sandwich and then announces that she’s done, what am I supposed to do? Throw it out? Hell no, I scarf that bad boy down. Same goes for her leftover mac & cheese, and her leftover chicken nuggets, and, and, and…

There’s other issues here too. Like how my weight is connected to my self-esteem, and how that’s connected to my libido (i.e., if you feel fat and ugly, you don’t really want to get naked in front of anyone, even if it’s the person who’s vowed to love you forever). These things are all intertwined, you know?

And I hate it. I don’t want this. I don’t want to be one of the “gastric bypass failure” stories. I always swore that would never be me. After all, that only happened to people who were messed up in the head. And now, look, here I am, steadily on my way to that exact fate.

But, hey, this is not my pity party. I am not the type to sit around and moan about how miserable I am, and I have very little tolerance for people who do that. The point here is to get off my (rapidly expanding) ass and do something about it. Yes, ok, in the last two years I have started more than a few diets, and I have failed at all of them. So maybe it’s time for me to try a different approach.

First, I’ve decided that I need to see a therapist. Sure, the blog is nice for unloading some stuff, but there are also some things that I can’t really talk about here because a lot of people in my family read this site, and I don’t want to alienate any of those relationships. I’m also considering going to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, because I’ve looked at their checklist of symptoms of compulsive overeating, and there are a few too many that ring true to me. (Of course, I do realize that by announcing my intent to go, I’ve pretty much shot the whole “anonymous” element to hell). I also need to make appointments to talk about some of this stuff with my OB/GYN, and maybe an endocrinologist, because I do feel like there is something “off” with my body as far as my overall lack of energy.

Second, I am going to start on another diet. But here’s the problem: with a three year-old in the house, it’s basically impossible to not have some junk food around all the time. That’s fine. But it makes it nearly impossible to do an intensely low-carb/all-organic diet. So I’m going to start working just on calorie restriction alone. Obviously I will try to make healthier choices during the day, but I also don’t want to beat myself up about it if I indulge in an 80-calorie cookie, either. I’m also going to start trying not to eat at night (after, say, 8 p.m. or so). That’s going to be the hardest for me. I’m a nighttime eater. I probably get a good 30% of my day’s calories after Catie goes to bed. But I’m going to work on cutting that out.

I also have to get exercising again, because I know that I will never feel “right” until I do. I started the couch-to-5K program last summer, and I really liked it a lot. But then we went to Mississippi for my aunt’s funeral, and then we moved to the new house, and then, and then, and then… You know, excuses excuses. I fell off the exercise wagon and landed back on the junk food wagon. So I’ll try it again. I ordered a pair of these crazy shoes and I’m gonna give it another shot.

And if I screw up, well then, I’ll just try again. And again. However many times it takes until I get it right.

I will NOT be one of those sad failure stories. I refuse.

  1. Please don’t take this post down.

    I’ve not had surgery but still so much of this rings true for me. Maybe all of us who are feeling this way can band together and be a source of encouragement for each other.

    I also want to say that you are very wise to see your docs…sometimes these things happen because something is physically out-of-whack and it’s always a good idea to dismiss any physiological reasons first.

    Good for you taking care of yourself!!!

    <3

  2. I totally understand! I’m in the same boat, minus the I’ve had gastric part, but that may change soon too. Weight loss is difficult and motivation is so hard to come by sometimes. You know I’m always around if you need to talk or vent or if you need me to tell you not to eat that, hell I’d probably ask you to send the cookie my way.

    Good luck with the goals and exercising and eating better plan. I, too, need to do something. My weight has been spiraling out of control. I’m at my highest weight ever and it’s getting pretty scary.

  3. If you feel there is something off with your body, you are probably right. I am on medication for hypothyroidism and when yóur body goes through any change, especially childbirth it throws it off. My med were readjusted 3 times while I was pregnant with my end and again after I delivered. I hope they do bloodwork and figure it out, in the meantime I think the other steps you are taking is great.

  4. Girl, I totally get where you are coming from and admire that you are sharing such details with us! I’m only 5’2″, and way super heavier then I should be if I were a tall amazon woman. That said, I too struggle and am hoping I am on a good track now as this is my year to take care of me. Just wanna give you a hug and say I hear ya, I’m with ya, and all that jazz! Now I gotta go give you some shit on words with friends;)
    @1mcmommy

  5. I struggled the entire year after I had my kid and am finally DOING what I talked about all those months. No matter how many times the diet/exercise doesn’t stick, it just takes one time for it to. When you’re ready, it happens, somehow. Sounds like you’re ready.

  6. Thank you for sharing. Been there before and am there now. I hear you.

    Definitely get your thyroid checked. If it comes back wacky, let’s talk. 🙂 I’ve had thyroid disease for 18 years now, first as high (Graves) then low (Graves burnt the gland out on its own) and I’ve been on multiple drugs for it, with resultant fluctuations in weight, heart rate, skin tone, you name it.

    If the thyroid panel comes back normal, another thing to consider is insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome, which can also make you tired and sluggish. In a nutshell, your insulin receptors can’t get sugar into your cells b/c they’re being overwhelmed, sugar instead accumulates elsewhere resulting in weight gain, and your body processes fuel inefficiently. Unfortunately there’s no one test for it (checking blood glucose is a clue but not definitive) and it’s more of a constellation of symptoms.

    Finally, I think it’s awesome you’re working on diet and exercise. It’s something I struggle with all the time. One of the things that has really worked for me is starting to follow Michael Pollan’s advice in “Food Rules.” Some of the good ones are things like “if a 3rd grader can’t pronounce the ingredient list, don’t eat it” and “something that comes through the window of your car isn’t food.” You end up eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables with a minimum of processed foods. That plus 30 minutes of walking or elliptical a day has really helped me a lot. “You On a Diet” by Dr. Oz also has some good recipes and I like their plan because it’s sensible.

    Hugs to you and hopes for a good week ahead.

  7. I haven’t had gastric bypass, but I have definitely struggled with my weight.

    During my second pregnancy I only gained 9 lbs and he weighed 10. So I felt pretty good about things, though I wasn’t really thin.

    Then Sept. 11 happened and I realized that my brother and cousin, who had both just enlisted, would actually be going to war. I sat on the couch and watched the news and ate and ate and ate.

    I gained 30 lbs between Sept and Thanksgiving 2001, and all these years later, I keep gaining and losing those same 30 lbs. What the heck?! Before Christmas I had lost some and now they are creeping back up on me. It’s the same weight over and over and I’m getting sick of it.

    I definitely need to do something about it. I need to stop saying I need to do something about it and really do it (I followed my lunch with a Diet Coke and a Snickers bar…I know better but I did).

  8. I have grown to dread the ups and downs of my scale. It is so hard because we didn’t have food in our house growing up and so now I surround myself with it. I eat when I am bored, sad, or when someone else is.

    Lately I have been ignoring these hunger pangs and have been drinking some water, it has helped but I need to start exercising (I like to walk but knee deep snow and people who don’t shovel their walks make that problematic)

    Good luck to you-you have the determination and that will get you far!

    p.s. those shoes really give me the heebie geebies.
    .-= Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire´s last blog ..Weekly Winners-Shots of our daily life Edition =-.

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