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.