Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh Internets!

You never cease to amaze me with your crazy, your denial, your profound, your awesome, your tragic, your humanity and your humor.

I feel as if I have travelled the globe in the last few days. From blog roll to blog roll-- I have read all sorts of journeys. I can't help but think about why I have been successful where others have failed. There was a definite point in my life where I could have gotten even heavier instead of changing course. There were other times where I could have given up and gained it all back and even still more times where I could have let becoming the thin beautiful version of myself destroy me with fear of living this one precious life.

But none of that happened.

I have no secret... and as I am fond of saying we are all on our own path. But what I think is important, is knowledge. And using that knowledge to work through the process of life. That's it. To be in control of your life is a powerful thing-- but getting there by owning the process takes time, consideration and thought. I have read more half ass excuses in the past two days than I can stomach. If you have spent most of your life over weight there are no two ways around it. You must learn to live with food and you must understand CALORICALLY (or okay, points work too) what you are taking in. Until you have a handle on how much you actually need you can't say, this is close enough or counting is making me obsess or this is too hard. Hard is what happens to your life when you don't think about it, when you aren't actively making smart decisions about what to eat and mindlessly nibble or obsess over the next apple crumb tart or cupcake.

If you have a lot of weight to lose then chances are you need to re-teach yourself how to live with food. Or simply learn to live with it for the first time if you grew up fat like me. There is no substitute for practice, years of practice. It does not happen with the first 5, 10 or even 100 pounds. Listening to your body is one thing, but it's not going to tell you that those extra 300 calories were too many. They add up quick and they add up to frustration and giving up. Or worse complacency. There is no way I would be where I am now, comfortably living with food if I didn't know about what I am eating, know more or less what's in, and know how much energy and nutrients it's providing me. Now that I am armed with this information I can eat whatever I want. I know that must sound crazy, it would have sounded crazy to the 345 pound me too. I could never understand how skinny people just ate. But you know what? They don't just eat (well, unless they are my husband). They think about it, they give it consideration, maybe even only for the briefest of seconds but they make a choice. They don't obsess and they don't agonize either. There is no guilt or bitterness over what they put in their mouth. There is no anger or angst over having to contemplate what they eat.

So for me there is simply informed choice. No one else can decide my fate for me and I embrace that. It did not happen over night, but here is where I have arrived, 10 years later, after much practice. Life, fueled by conscious choice.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What I did all day

I rested and iced. I also went the bathroom and it almost killed me. I took a peek afterwards because I felt like I had broken open. Everything was fine, but shocking to look at... even when reflected in Gram's beautiful old antique hand mirror.

I prefer this view. I'm totally freaked out by how violated I look underneath the compression garment.

Taking a moment to acknowledge this sucks and moving on. Just need to have faith in my body and my ability to heal and cope.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ok, this makes me look tiny!

Tweeted this too but can explain a bit better here. You can see gauze on tibia where he fixed my divot. Still haven't seen it, but there is an interesting bruise just to the left. I understand that he overlapped the skin to give it some extra thickness. Apparently there wasn't much there.

The other gauze squares are where the drains came out today. And even though the thighs are all puffy they still look tiny to me now that I look at this picture. I'm a big fan of this compression garment, it has hook and eye closures and then zippers up both sides. The seams and the tag are on the outside so they don't press into you. It's also crotchless, which in theory makes it easier to void. Still haven't pooped yet. Maybe tomorrow. Sorry for the tmi but it's a part of surgery.

And now the healing begins

I really really want this to just get easier... Drains came out and with them all the bandages were removed, just steri strips now. I feel like it is going to be okay and I keep wishing for it at 11:11. The doctor said I look good. He reiterated that he took more tissue than he expected and that he pulled me pretty tight. I hope that I can see that when the swelling goes down but even what I can see now looks awesome. Still approximately the same size but it's all puffed out with fluid and not with extra skin. All the fat that was between my thighs is all gone. Crazy to look at them and just see a thigh with no hanging drooping skin.

So all I need to do now is sit tight and heal. Well, not sit tight all the time, getting up and moving is still super important and that will get easier as the pain subsides. I get to shower starting tomorrow. Thank goodness because I stink! I could go a couple more days without washing my hair, but my body needs a cleansing. The washcloth bath is just not the same.

I feel much better now that I have gotten to see... I'm thrilled. I can't wait to use my new legs.


Hopefully they are coming out this afternoon. Two days and I am already draining just serous fluid, with a few random fat cells floating in there. I look at them and wonder... what did I eat to make those cells.

It's all in your head

So last summer when I did my middle I had some horrible crazy scary dreams for a week post-op. Not so this year, thankfully. I had dreams about people chasing me with knives and beating me up. Obviously I was processing what I had just done. I have a hard time with the actual physical part of all this and how drastic it is to have to do this. I feel almost as if I have violated myself. Which, with all those years of food abuse I did and then when I lost it, I still wasn't done abusing my body. Abusing might be too strong, but I don't know what else to call this kind of surgery. The left over me was something that I was never going to be able to take care of on my own so either live with it or deal with it.

Dealing with it is hard. Surgery is no joke and I can't help but be concerned for my well being (and those around me) for the next 10 days or so. If I make it that far I will feel over the hump. At 9 days last summer is when I started to split open. As I have learned in the past year the body is pretty damn delicate and easily invaded. I don't want to jinx self, but so far so good.
I really just need to be thinking positive healing thoughts, which I am. But that's a wee bit hard at close to 3 am and you are still feeling like you are breathing out anesthesia and your head hurts and legs are like sausages. Not complaining, just saying, all of these things are part of the process that I just need to work through.

I'm doing okay though, my subconscious tells me so!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thigh lipectomy

Is the technical term. Home and resting comfortably on what will forever be known as the convalescing couch. Already used the urinal and for once hoping I don't have to poop! Atleast until Friday when the drains come out. I see the doc then as he is heading out of town for holiday weekend. He's got a speaking engagement somwheres. Everyone really like him, mom, M and twin sis were all there when he came out to talk to them. I understand he took more tissue than planned, fine by me. I'm so curious!
So besides the sitting part, physically I think this recovery will be less painful, but more awkward. Hard to tell but I just got up and walked around, so far so good. Oh and that female urinal is where it's at!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vacation as seen through the lens of my iPhone

On the plane. I used to need an extender. Low and tight across your hips was not something I understood until post my first round of plastics. I still hate flying though.

At the antique store. I had never come across Harvey Canes. I am totally in love. Guy running the store said to have a look at their website and he would order one for me and ship to Boston. They make all sorts, lucite, wood... Ones with crook handles, derby handles, knobs. You name it. I need a quality cane, love my antique bamboo one, but could use one with a bit more stability.

Won't miss this. Not the worst of it this week either. I'm pretty convinced those little red dots are plain old skin Staph, especially the ones that erupt into a pustule. Ew. I know-- gross. But based on what I learned in Micro this semester (and past experience) leads me to think that. I've started the Hibiclens showers already.

I'm not sure why I am not smiling. I should be, this was one of the nicest days we had. The beaches on Hilton Head were gorgeous and huge, we must have walked miles down them!

We had Five Guys. Twice. I loved the hotel we stayed at in Savannah, AVIA, had a great view and lovely decor. Also, was a block a way from Five Guys where I could get Caffeine Free Diet Coke as a fountain drink. Husband and I are giving eachother wtf look in this picture as we were watching the Rand Paul interview on The Rachel Maddow Show.

The dress I mentioned in the Interaction post.

The beer, pizza and calzone mentioned in the Interaction post.

The view from the hotel balcony.

The dress I traveled home in. You can't really see the bracelet, it's a 1960's Regency that could not match more perfectly, pinks and oranges that compliment the dress so nicely. The dress came from Target by the way, part of the Lily of London collection they had earlier this Spring. It's a 10 and makes me feel so beautiful. I'm a big believer in getting dressed up when I travel and it's almost always a skirt or a dress. Something about sitting a long time in pants bugs me. The flight down in the jeans was uncomfortable.

All in all it was a lovely vacation. So wonderful to spend time with my husband and just be us.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Savannah does not have an open container law. I found this fact fascinating. As long as it is a plastic cup and less than 16 ounces you can take it to go. Nifty! I finally did that on the last night on the way back from getting pizza. The restaurant was about two blocks away across a park and pedestrian marketplace. My college beer is available pretty much everywhere we vacation but still not at home. I could not pass up the novelty of Fat Tire on tap in a plastic cup outside!!! on my way back to the hotel. I was also carrying a medium pizza box with my calzone in a brown paper bag on top of it. My hands were full, my LV across my body and shades pushed up on top of my head and I was wearing long brown and turquoise plaid plaid maxi dress with halter tie at neck. I looked very much like me on any given day. We all know how much value I find in getting dressed up and looking nice. The walk back from the pizza place exemplified why.

The number of people who smiled at me was numerous and there were even a few fun comments! No glares, no stares, no looks of disgust that said why is that girl carrying pizza and a beer. One guy even asked me if he could join me for dinner as I walked by! People held open doors, pushed the elevator button and moved out of my way when in the past they wouldn't have even looked at me or worse, made it harder to get by. These everyday little interactions make me happy. I'm a sweetheart who can talk to anyone, I chat up sales clerks and compliment people (mostly on shoes!) and have no fear of personal interaction now. Years at the coffee shop honed that skill but the way other people respond to me is totally different. Five years into maintenance later you would think I would be used to it but I'm not. I don't mind it and actually rather enjoy it. I wish that people weren't so shallow, my self included sometimes, but we are human, we are flawed, and that's okay. People being nice to me makes me feel good. And feeling good makes me treat myself well. Nothing wrong with a positive feedback loop to reinforce the changes I have made.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I love Savannah! Seriously adore this town. Its historical walkable and fashionable. Lots going through my mind right now. Trying not to panic about next week and instead live in the vacation moment. A bit difficult for me, but giving it my best shot. Hard to ignore thoughts of impending thigh lift surgery when i am walking around in skirts in high 80's and humid and my thighs just stick together.

Currently I am sitting on balcony of hotel w/ ipad watching people wander by and little kids play in the fountain 5 floors down. Headed out for dinner soon, i have eaten some very tasty food this week and done a little shopping. Including the silk maxi dress im currently wearing. I love being this size and just being able to try things on. I'm also a lover all things thrift and Savannah/Hilton Head has some great consignment shops!

So this is just a quick update, more posts to come once i get home re: surgery. Dropped off face of earth since finals when we found out we could go on vacation last week. And so we did. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One down. Two to go.

I survived Microbiology. I also survived the intake with the Pain Clinic today. When I made appointment months ago had no idea that they were same day. Meh. Underwhelmed and kind of insulted. I know that it's healthcare that's broken... not me. Really what I want is a doctor to say, "I'm sorry this happened to you." I said that today and the pain guy responded, "I'm not that doctor." No kidding.

I'm not interested in pills or acupuncture or whatever... just want to talk about it.

Again, reminding myself, this is NOT my fault.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Crossing things off my list

Still can't believe that plastics is less than three weeks away. I got a call from the office on Wednesday wondering about payment. Oops, I was convinced I had yet another week. So much to do! (three finals this week) Surgeons fee has already been processed and I am just waiting on hospital and anesthesiologist. I've never ever given my debit card number out for such a large payment. Took my breath away for a moment actually.

I met with a really nice physical therapist yesterday about my ankle. She has all sorts of plans for me up until my surgery. I was expecting an awkward conversation, but she was really supportive. None of my falls recently have been a result of tripping over my thighs, but she said she could see how that would happen.

I took this picture with my falling apart iPhone last night. I guess I'm glad it's blurry, you can't see the wrinkles and the rash that's been a result of some hot weather and skirt wearing. I won't miss that at all. Bacteria like warm warm places, normally they stick to your groin, but not me, I swear I walk from my knees and not my hips like most.

I'm also kneeling in this picture which is unheard of for me. Mostly because it hurts, but also because I dislike the way the skin puddles at my knee when I do. That's the part where he will do lipo. Ugh. I'm trying so hard not to think about that. Again, I'm trying to think function and not cosmetic. I'll be happy to have that spot taken care of, when I walk sometimes my legs make that thwapping sound like my tummy hang used too.

Back to the Mircobiology.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is it over yet?

I have always been a procrastinator. There are some days when I still can't believe that I have figured out this food thing. It takes commitment and follow through sure, but really it is just about paying attention and making decisions in the moment knowing that they will have implications in the future. For example, if I eat this now, how will it impact my dinner? What other good for me things have I had today that will balance out this fried dough, blond brownie, muffin, bishops bread, and ice cream? What should I cut back on this week because I ate all of those things yesterday in one day? ;) That sort of thing.

Why is it then that I have such a hard time getting school stuff done? It still has implications for my future but I often put it off and then off again until I am not sure I have enough time to finish it. I used to put off thinking about food and would just eat it. Now I put off thinking about school and just go do something else... This behavior is known to me and while not as bad as it used to be, still bugs me. I hate feeling rushed and pressed for time, especially when it is something I know about. We had to submit paper for MicroBiology class today and while i had read all the research weeks ago I had put off the actual writing part until last night and today. Fascinating subject I thought, the potential role of our resident gastrointestinal flora on the rise of obesity. And in case you are curious, to sum up, sure, those bacteria play a role in our metabolism but I'm not sure it's that much. With no real answer to obesity "epidemic" people are looking for any possible therapeutic target. It's all about the money... Anyway like with our own genes, I'm pretty sure we can overcome the genes of our microbiota. Being fat is no one's destiny.

So sigh. I'm sure the paper is fine, but I know it could have been better written and I know that is result of the procrastination. I need to be better about paying attention to school. I know the end of the semester is not the time to come to that conclusion, and I come to this conclusion every semester, but still, I could do better. The thing about being successful at something so many others fail at is that it raises the bar for yourself to be super good at everything else you do too.