It’s not going to be easy every time you try

I learned today that it’s not going to be easy every time you try to run. Today, I FORCED myself to get out of bed and go for a run, headache and all. It was awful. I hated every minute of it. Typically, I am psyched to go, and even if I am not once I start running and the endorphins kick in I am a happy girl. Today, that didn’t happen. Every quarter of a mile was a struggle. I convinced myself that I could turn around before I had even run a mile – with the fear that I would need to run to the bathroom if I didn’t! (This happened the last time I ran and I was afraid I wouldn’t make it home in time to reach the bathroom! What a horrible feeling!) My total distance was just over a mile and a half – and I walked at least a half mile of it. I felt defeated, and I considered deferring my half marathon registration to 2015. I know that today was an off day, and I just need to get back in the routine. 

Still, today I felt like the 300+ pound girl who couldn’t walk down the hallway without her head pounding. My head was pounding, but I was running, and that should be the victory. I have awful fears that the IH (Intracranial Hypertension) is creeping back up on me.

I have had a headache on and off for the last week. Most mornings I wake up with it but it goes away by the afternoon. With IH, it NEVER goes away. It is accompanied by buzzing in the ears, and a throbbing head with movement. I haven’t had these specific recurring symptoms since before I had my surgery, but if they happen to sporadically pop up it sends me into a panic. Yesterday, I had some buzzing, and today I had the pounding. Hence, the freakout and negative self talk that allowed me to stop running.

Tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow, I am hoping to LOVE my run, and myself. On a positive note, I have almost hit 10,000 steps today on my Fitbit due to the run this morning – no matter how crappy it was, it still counts for something!

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Motivation

Motivation is tricky for me lately. Mentally, I am motivated to accomplish so much. Physically, I am exhausted. Emotionally, I am exhausted. I have huge hopes for the day, and then the exhaustion sets in and nothing outside of the normal daily requirements gets done.

I have not run in over a week. I need to get back out and run tomorrow. I NEED to do this. I am NOT prepared for the half marathon and it scares the pants off me. Obviously not badly enough or I would have crawled out of bed and run this morning. Enough beating myself up, but I need to get my act together. I should really be at a 9 mile distance by now. I haven’t gone over 4.

The holidays have been hard for me. I have been grazing and not putting protein first. After having bariatric surgery it is very important that protein is the main focus of EVERY meal. Over the last couple of weeks I have fallen back into old habits and eating out of convenience, emotion, and preference. See, when given the choice I will almost ALWAYS choose a carbohydrate option over a protein. That is the way it has always been. I do not want this surgery to beat me, I need to continue on the path of good health so I must choose protein first. No more excuses.

Mr. Lucky bought me a Fitbit Flex for christmas so we are getting to know each other. Previously, I had a Jawbone UP which I lost (I suspect in the midst of wrestling lucky charm after an epic tantrum in the mall food court). I am making a huge effort to log my food in my fitness pal, and get my minimum intake of 64 ounces of water (I haven’t even been coming close to this!).

Now, I must get motivated to tear down all of the Christmas decorations, donate old toys to charity, and get myself on the road early EVERY morning to run!

Healing

Yesterday I was working from home because I caught a bit of a cold, and Dr. Oz was on in the background. He had a segment about Crystal Sonic Therapy and how it can do wonders for healing clarity, pain, relaxation and sleep. I decided to download one of the CD’s on itunes to see if it helped me any, and I have to say it is VERY relaxing. I am sitting at my desk listening to it with headphones and it really is amazing how powerful it is. If you are struggling and you can take the time to listen, I highly recommend it even just for relaxation because I’m not sure I’ve personally experienced any other benefits from it so soon.

My lucky little family and I are starting therapy on Friday. It is going to be good for us. Mr. Lucky and I have some things to sort out stemming from our infertility and growing our family. Mr. Lucky really wants me to get pregnant. If you didn’t know by now, I’m infertile. However, weight loss surgery changes things for some people. The sudden weight loss can make people who were previously infertile, very fertile. For that reason, my surgeon and nutritionist have recommended that we use protective measures to avoid pregnancy for the first 18 months after surgery. When I told him this, he was bothered by the fact that I would want to prevent pregnancy after all we have been through. The truth is, I really don’t want to ever be pregnant. I am ok with building my family through adoption, I’m even ok with Lucky Charm being our one and only. He isn’t. He keeps talking about me getting pregnant after the 18 months and we really need to get this resolved. I don’t like to continuously disappoint him, but isn’t it time to put my own needs and health first? When we were going through fertility treatments, it was my body that was violated and attacked by hormones, not his. Nevermind that I am still bleeding profusely so the opportunity to get pregnant is NOT there. It is going to take alot of time for my body to re-adjust to hormonal changes, but hopefully soon I will get a break from bleeding.

I am finally below the weight I was before we started treatments (270). My next goal will be to be below the weight I was at our wedding (228). I really don’t ever want to be back here again, and the thought of pregnancy and gaining weight after all of this hard work scares the pants off of me. Nevermind having been through an incredibly painful back surgery and recovery.

Forty

It has been 43 days since my life changing surgery. I have lost 41 pounds.

I cleaned the floors yesterday and I was sore but I didn’t feel like I was going to die afterwards like I used to. The scale finally budged this morning and I think I may have to clean the floors more often! Haha

I am watching everything I eat closely, watching my protein intake and I am taking my vitamins and thyroid medication regularly. I am also working hard to get in more liquid. I struggle to get in 48oz. I used to easily get 80+oz per day.

I am hoping to join a gym soon and kick off my marathon training very soon!

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Red Light, Green Light

So the verdict is in, and I got the green light! I am officially approved for surgery by my insurance company! I could NOT believe it! It came down to the wire, and I was holding my breath for a red light and a long, drawn out process.

I had been getting really discouraged over the last week waiting for the approval, thinking that it was going to come so close to surgery, and then get denied, and I would have to re-schedule all of my appointments, and work schedule.

I am scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, May 29th! EEEEEEEK! I will be in the hospital at least one overnight, if not two, depending on how I am feeling and my progress. Then I will come home, and rest and walk walk walk. Mr. Lucky will be home with me until Monday,

June, 3rd. Lucky Charm will go to school Mon.-Weds. and I will work from home these days as long as I am feeling up to it. I am planning to return to work the week of June 10th, as a new person, on a liquid diet (blech!). But hopefully, I won’t be hungry and I won’t care!

So now that I have days before surgery, I need to get a pill crusher, a robe for the hospital, some protein shakes and other clear liquid products. Oh, and I will have to either buy 2 enemas or 2 bottles of magnesium citrate for bowel prep the night before surgery (GAG!). SO not looking forward to that part! I am also going to clean out the pantry and refrigerator of all foods that I will not be able to eat post surgery, or that will not be eaten by Mr. Lucky and Lucky Charm in the few weeks that I am on clear liquids.

I will also be spending my very first night away from Lucky Charm when I am in the hospital. I am going to miss her SO much, but hopefully I will be focused on just getting myself better and going home. I am praying I will only have to stay one night.

We are going to spend the weekend in the pool, since I will have to stay out of it for a while after surgery until the incisions heal. Tuesday I have my pre-op at the hospital, and an iron infusion in the afternoon.

I am also going to have Mr. Lucky take a “Before” photo of me this weekend that I will post here.

I am SO excited and nervous for all of these life changes.

Surgery in one month?!

I have a surgery date! May 29th is my tentative surgery date. What does this mean for me?

I have a TON of doctors appointments coming up in the next few weeks. I have to meet with my primary doctor to get her to finalize my weight loss visit reports for my surgeon’s office (to be forwarded with the package to insurance). I also have an appointment with a psychologist and nutritionist. And finally… I am having the dreaded HIDA scan done, and more bloodwork.

Why do I say that this date is tentative? My pre-op date is May 9th and I will be submitting everything to insurance following this appointment. If insurance denies my claim (due to the requirements that their representatives say I do not have to meet) – then we will appeal and reschedule again.

I decided to go ahead and proceed with submitting everything we have now, instead of waiting another 6 months and trying to lose the 10%. The worst that can happen is I end up rescheduling it for 6 months from now anyway. I came to this decision to give it my best shot now after I had been reading posts on a bariatric surgery forum. There are so many people with “food issues” and the mental struggle with their new stomach and foods that the body can no longer process. If I wait another 6 months, it is going to put me so close to the holidays for this mental/emotional transition, and I just think it will be more difficult then if I can get through some of the hurdles without the holidays in the midst of things.

So for now, I have a pile of paperwork to fill out from the psychologist’s office. From what I have seen so far when I glanced through they REALLY get in deep with your emotional eating habits and mental health before surgery. I think I will try to continue to see a therapist even after surgery to be sure I am coping appropriately with all of the changes. (Especially with added changes in our family dynamic that will be happening at the same time – – more about that in the next post!!)

I am not even quite sure that I know what my food issues are, or what my triggers are. I do know that I am somewhat of an emotional eater, but not to an extreme (at least I don’t think so). I also know that I was raised celebrating with food. We celebrated sports games with food, we celebrated good grades with food, we celebrated good news by going out to dinner, we celebrated everything with food. Food can no longer be a reward for me. My relationship with food must change to a relationship of nourishment and necessity. I also love carbs, and dairy. I always have. This is also going to change. My focus will shift, and I will have to find more creative ways to reward myself, but maybe I won’t even need a reward because I will see the payoff in my health improving right before my very eyes.

I have been really struggling lately with my health. My digestive system is in cahoots against me. I have been eating a low carb diet to help control my Diabetes, but my blood sugar has been very low for weeks. I have had stomach pains, nausea and diarrhea constantly, along with very uncomfortable gurgling. I am SO over feeling cruddy that it has messed with my head making me wonder if surgery is the right decision. I don’t want to have an upset stomach all the time. I don’t want to feel nauseated and throw up all the time. I don’t want to dump if I eat something my new stomach doesn’t agree with. But the fact is, if I watch my diet closely, listen to the new signals, and eat the things I am supposed to while staying away from those that I shouldn’t be eating anyway, I should be able to manage this for the most part.

That’s all for now. I am saving the most dramatic news for the next post.

 

By-Passing the Time

Wow, it has been a while.

I have been a busy bee. We had family in town over two different weekends, and then LMM and her hubby came for Easter. In between, I have been working on re-painting our spare bathroom into a Disney Princess theme for Lucky Charm, and turning our guest room into a playroom for her. I have also done a few fun things like spray paint our bathroom faucet, and doorknob in the spare bath.

Last Thursday I went to my first weight loss seminar that was required by the surgeon’s office before you could make a consultation appointment. During this seminar, I learned that the Plication surgery I was hoping to have is actually not FDA approved and he doesn’t perform them. I also learned the Roux En Y Gastric Bypass is probably going to be what he recommends for me. This scares the pants off of me! I always said it was the one surgery I would never consider because it’s so invasive. After hearing him speak, I realize that it may be what is best. He explained that gastric has the most impact on hormonal changes, vs. the sleeve gastrectomy and the lapband (he only recommends for very few people since the complications are highest with this). Since many (most) of my health issues stem from hormonal imbalance, it seems like the logical choice.

Since that meeting, I have made an appointment for my consultation with him next Thursday (the 11th). I have been going over the nitty gritty details for insurance approval to be sure that they have all of the information they are requesting. My insurance requires that I lose 10% of my body weight before surgery. This is going to be the toughest of the requirements for me. I have lost 10, but have stalled. I haven’t been eating the best either, so that is changing.

I also have to have 6 months of dr. supervised weight loss visits, which I have completed 3 months of. It also requires a co-morbidity factor (I have plenty of those), and a BMI of over 40. I think mine is 46.

So hopefully, I will be looking towards a surgery date in June or July for sure.

I  am hopeful that the time will go by quickly between now and surgery and I can really focus on getting as much weight off as I can now. The more I can lose before surgery, the better for me during/after surgery.

So here are some of the changes I am currently making to my diet.

1. I signed up to have a box of local organic fruits and veggies delivered to the house bi-weekly to encourage us to try new fruits and veggies, and have them readily accessible (plus they’re amazingly delicious!).

2. LMM helped me plan lots of low-carb friendly meals. Here are a few on the menu: Thai peanut chicken lettuce wraps, Turkey Kielbasa, Pasta Salad (using Dreamfields pasta, zucchini, squash, garlic, and tomato), Mashed Cauliflower, and Low Carb Pita Pizzas. I also have fresh asparagus, and broccoli to go along with these meals.

3. I am trying to cut out processed foods (or greatly reduce intake) including ginger ale (one of my vices that I’ve had for fighting off nausea caused by my medication, and probably blood sugar levels too). My snacks consist of whole natural almonds, pistachios, cheese, turkey pepperoni, and natural peanut butter and apples.

I am anxious to get this over with, and begin a full recovery to ME. I have been struggling with pressure headaches over the last couple of weeks, we have all been passing colds around, and Lucky Charm had a touch of a stomach bug. Lucky Charm has also been acting very “terrible-twosy” lately and giving me a run for my money. Between being sick on and off, she is very very attached to me, and does not like to be told no (especially when requesting popcorn for breakfast!). She was on a nebulizer for a couple of weeks for an awful cough she had, and then antibiotics. We just need some time of “normal” for a little while!

I hope to snap myself out of this funk soon, and be back to posting regularly. I just want to feel like a normal person again. I want to start training to run the Princess Half NOW, without my head feel like its going to blast into outer space. One day at a time…right?