When I started this blog 5 years ago I was 189 pounds and feeling miserable about myself and controlled by food. I lost 35 pounds during that journey and spent two years “on the wagon” of eating well and maintaining my weight loss. Then, three years ago my son developed a series of health problems and my ability to do anything for myself collapsed under the demands of the schedule of doctor’s appointments, meetings at school, and OT, not to mention the emotional toll the whole experience was taking on me. Three years on he’s now stable, and home schooled, and on the track for success that we’ve all worked so hard to get him on. It’s a serious accomplishment and I’m proud of myself for all we’ve accomplished. It took determination, follow-through, immeasurable amounts of patience, and lots of love.

But now, I weigh 236 pounds (at last count) and feeling generally miserable about myself would be a welcome relief as compared to the self-loathing I feel. I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror. I can’t bear to see my face in profile. I can’t bear to be touched by my husband because anywhere his hand touches reminds me of the profound shame and disappointment I feel about my body and my weight.

This is awful.

The weight loss surgery I had in 2005, the gastric band, stopped working for me years and years ago and I lived through the years of the Dukan Diet without any help from the band. In the past three years it’s become a flat out liability preventing me from eating raw vegetables and “unlubricated” proteins, which meant adding fat to my diet that didn’t need to be there or else I’d be barfing up the food I was trying to eat.

So last September I went back to see my surgeon to talk about what my options were. This began a new journey to find a solution. I’ve had blood tests, an endoscopy, tests, consultations, and a surgery to remove the band from from my stomach. All of this is in preparation for a new weight loss surgery (new for me at least) that’s coming on May 1st. The gastric sleeve.

I’ve been through weight loss surgery before. It’s not the easy way out. It’s so freaking hard and requires so much time, attention, dedication, and consistent follow-through. What you are or aren’t eating is only a portion of what matters. There’s weeks of not eating at all while your body heals from the surgery. There’s making sure you’re taking your supplements, getting in enough water, never drinking and eating at the same time, counting your protein grams to make sure you are getting enough, making sure you’re getting your fiber in supplement form in case you can’t get enough roughage in your diet. There’s feeling constantly tired from lack of calories, and counting, counting, counting, every day without ever stopping. All of this is on top of being a mother of two, one with special needs, being a wife, having a job, taking care of our house and finances. It’s a lot without all of this other stuff to get in the way. It’s even more with it.

I confess I’m nervous about this next step. I’ve been through this before and while it worked beautifully at first, I was 100%. On. Top. Of. Everything. the last time and I had the emotional resources to manage it all. Now, I’m just not that sure.

What I am sure of is that I can’t be 236 pounds forever, and if I don’t do this surgery that 236 is only going to go up (no doubt it will whether or not I want it to before May 1st), but if I do have the surgery it will go down.

I don’t honestly know how far down that number will go. Some estimates say that I’ll end up at 167 pounds some say 175. These were the estimates I got after my first surgery and I wound up coming to rest at 157. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to get back to that 157 mark. But at this point 175 sounds pretty darn good. Just being able to be comfortable in my clothes again would be amazing. Not feeling like I’m in “point and laugh at the fat person” territory would be amazing.

Honestly, the last thing that worked for me was the Dukan Diet that I chronicled here. I think that the reason that it worked was that I used my Overeater’s Anonymous tool of “just for today”. No, with the surgery I can’t opt to just stop when and if I don’t want to do it any more. But I know that the OA strategy of telling myself that it’s just for today, one day at a time, get through until bedtime helps manage a lot of the psychological effects of being on a rigorous weight loss program.

Between today and surgery I have a few goals:

  1. Writing here to keep me focused.
  2. Stop drinking with my meals.
  3. Get in 64 oz of water a day (or drink 3 full “cups” from my large straw cup)
  4. Start increasing my chewing.
  5. Start walking a bit each day.
  6. Cut down on sugary foods.

The last one will be the hardest. Honestly, they’ll all be hard but getting in the water will probably be the easiest because I’m already getting in two of the large cups per day so getting in the third won’t be that hard. In fact, I can probably just add a mug of tea in the morning to get me over the hurdle.

I rambled quite a lot here and it’s mostly because I’m trying to get focused and it’s resulting in a shotgun approach so I’ll wrap it up for now. So, that’s all for today. More about my weighing in plans next time.