good morning

It’s been about 10 months now, since I got weight-loss surgery. And every single week, four times every single month, I have gotten on the scale, and I have noted that another week had gone by, and another x number of pounds had dropped off my body, splat, never–if stories were to be believed–to be seen again. It was kind of glorious, I have to tell you. All the shit I went through, and all the pain and frustration and sick feelingness, it was all mitigated, somewhat (not entirely, but somewhat) by the fact that I had something to show for it. That was all I wanted. Something to show.

Inevitably, the weight loss slows down. From five pounds a week to four, to three, to two or one pound a week, and that’s been fine. It was nice to see those staggering amounts, and kind of amazing in a sciencey kind of way, thinking about what my body was doing, in order to drop that kind of weight, and so quickly. But it was also okay to slow down to more normal rates, because it made me feel less like a freak, less out of control, less melting away and disappearing and more reasonable and ordinary.

The thing was, for all these weeks–no matter what I did, or what
exercise I did or didn’t do, or what I ate or how I ate or how much I
ate, I would see a drop on the scale, every single week. No matter
what. I started to push that, as I’ve documented previously. I started
to eat more and more poorly, become less and less concerned about
nutrition.

Lately, I’ve been eating sugar, which had previously not interested me
in the slightest. But one magical period week, suddenly peanut M&Ms
seemed like the coolest thing ever in the history of the world, and
there I was, eating a pack of peanut M&Ms. Granted, it was slowly; over the course of an hour I was demolishing a pack, but still. A lot
of calories. A lot of sugar. And all at the same time I had stopped
running. I still lost weight, every week. Surgery is magic! I love
surgery! I would get it again! Twice!

This weekend, I went on a cruise, and I drank things out of pineapples,
several times a day. I tried to eat protein, by which I mean mostly I
had pastries for breakfast and a bite of eggs. I sat on a deck chair. I
moved from my deck chair, to the bar, and then back to the deck chair.
I drank more drinks out of pineapples. It was glorious. It was a
vacation. It was really, really a fucking stunner to come back and
realize I had gained a pound and a half.

A pound and a half doesn’t seem like a huge deal, in the grand scheme
of things. I’ve lost 136 pounds in the last 10 months! How is a pound
and a half going to make any difference? What possible effect could it
have on my health and happiness?

I feel it. I felt it, before I got on the scale. It wasn’t actually a
stunning surprise, to get up and see that my weight had incremented,
because I could see it in my stomach, and feel it in my waist, even
though I tried to ignore it, and just assumed it was, I don’t know, the
extra gravitational pull of the ocean dragging me down. I hoped it
was a mistake. It could still be a mistake–this could be water weight,
because ship food has so much sodium! Or something. I don’t know. It
could all disappear tomorrow, and all this panic could be moot.

This panic, I hope, will be moot. Because this is an unpleasant
feeling, it is a terrifying feeling, it is a feeling of being on the
edge of spiraling entirely out of control, and never ever coming back.
Wasn’t surgery supposed to fix me? Wasn’t I supposed to never gain
weight, not ever again? Wasn’t I smarter than to fuck up something so
simple? I thought I was smarter than that, and it stings to have proof
that I am not. I mean, I’ve known the whole time that I’ve been really
fucking stupid, eating the way I had. But to have proof of it–that
sucks. Of course it sucks. And to have it bite me on the ass? That
sucks even more.

I don’t want to be called out on my stupidity! I want to keep enjoying the
super special magic trick that my body has been performing, all these
months. Why can’t it just keep going? I would say it’s not fair, except
that it is totally fair and everything I deserve. And exactly what I
needed. Hello, good morning. Your issues with food have not been
resolved. Hello, good morning, it’s time to think about that, to talk
to someone, to figure this out. Hello, good morning, back to the gym.
Hello, good morning. It isn’t magic.

  4 comments for “good morning

  1. August 21, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Ok. This is coming from a place of love from a fellow DSer.

    First, it’s water. Not what you want to hear, but it’s water weight. Give yourself a couple of days of eating right and drinking a lot of water and it’ll come off.

    Second, even though it hurts to have to admit it, you know what you’re doing to yourself by eating poorly and not exercising. If you know what you’re doing to cause this, then you know what to do to fix it.

    Third, it sucks ginormous donkey balls that this amazing and miraculous surgery that we had doesn’t also cure that infantile part of our brains that screams “BUT I WANNA HAVE CAAAANNNDYYYYYY!” Why can’t it scream for something healthier? Like cheese?

    Last, appreciate the fact that this doesn’t signal DOOM! and FAILURE! and FUCKUP! like it would’ve before surgery, and now it’s like a “Hey!” or “Yo!” It doesn’t have to lead into a spiral of recriminations and self-loathing (um, speaking from personal experience here…). It’s a polite reminder for you to take better care of yourself.

    And you should! ’cause we love you!

    [/soapbox]

  2. August 22, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    My over-achieving friend called me yesterday, hysterical, because she was fired from her job (a job she hates, I may add, and has hated every single day of the three years she has worked there).

    I said, “Well, why!?!?!”
    She said, “I haven’t cared enough; haven’t tried… i’ve been blowing things off.”

    “So… you GOT yourself fired, basically.”

    “yes.”

    That’s what this is. You are testing the limitations of your body, and now you know. I’ve done it to, without having surgery. I know that I like to push the envelope to see exactly what I can get away with, eating-wise, before it shows up on the scale. except, it never seems to show up right away or 1 lb at a time, it seems like it shows up 3 weeks later, as 10 lbs lumped together. Good times.

    It probably *is* water weight, and also, if you were on the airplane at all, you are massively dehydrated, which means that your body is holding onto every last oz of hydration it can, which = more water weight. I commend you for going on VACATION and only gaining 1.5 lbs… dude, I can LOOK at a pack of peanut M & Ms and gain weight.

    You are going to be okay.

  3. anon
    August 22, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Hello, I’m just back from vacation myself, which I must point out for two reasons:

    (1) I missed reading you every day, and just had to spend way more time than I have on my first day back at work after vacation catching up with you and your life.

    (2) I gained so much weight during my two weeks away that I laugh, nay, I chortle at your pound and a half!

    Not because I’m unsympathetic, mind you, because I am not, and I know what you’re feeling, I truly do, in an I-feel-your-pain, been-there-done-that-sister kind of way, but because I wish so very, very much that I was staring down a pound and a half on the scale instead of [no, I’m not going to tell you the number].

    But here’s what I’ll tell you, which others already have. It is water weight, you will spend the next few days dutifully drinking gallons of H2O and eating your protein and avoiding simple carbs and your previous weight will return and you will breathe again.

    I know this, you see, because I have done it, many times. And, by the way, I’m not recommending it, I’m not saying, oh yeah, go on vacation, eat and drink like a maniac, and then just take the steps necessary to fix it when you get back, because that would not be sage advice, because sage advice would be, oh yeah, go on vacation, have fun, but don’t feel the need to eat and drink as if there will be no more food or alcohol available to you ever again.

    That would be sage. But you know what, life is not always going to be like that, where you can follow the sage advice and follow the rules all the time, because even if that would be smarter, to stay more balanced, to not go through periods of overindulgence after which you have to scramble to get back your balance, the truth is that it just isn’t the way life always is, because sometimes life is not neat and orderly and balanced, sometimes it is messy, and we must learn to embrace it, yes, embrace the mess that is life.

    So, yeah. I overdid it. I went on vacation and I ate and ate and ate, things I never eat anymore, in quantities I never consume anymore, and I liked it, and I drank, I drank lots of wine, more than I normally drink anymore, and I was happy and smiling and toasting all with my many glasses of wine. So anyone who shakes his/her head and tsks tsks and says, that’s not the right way, maybe you’re right, whoever you are, but this is me, and sometimes this is how I live.

    So now I’m bloated and kicking myself and annoyed that I didn’t come back as trim as when I left, and boo hoo, woe is me, I had a great vacation, so you know what, don’t cry for me, Argentina, because tomorrow when my jet lag is fully gone and I feel more like myself again and I have accepted once again that life is alarm clocks and work and not always fun and food and wine in outrageous proportions, I will get up and I will go run (I miss it, actually) and I will continue on my return-to-salads-and-grilled-chicken-and-water quest, which I kickstarted today, and it might take a few weeks (because I didn’t gain a pound and a half but rather [no, I’m not going to tell you the number]) but I will see the scale come back to a number that doesn’t make me hyperventilate and I will fit into the clothes that are now straining at the seams on my sodium- and alcohol-bloated body and all will return to normal and I will remind myself, during these next few weeks when I am frustrated every time I step on the scale or look in the mirror, that it is ok, this is just temporary, I am not perfect, I had a great vacation, I overindulged, I can and will get myself back on track, and it is all fine because this is life and me? I embrace the mess.

  4. August 23, 2007 at 11:49 am

    I have not had weight loss surgery, but I do recognize what you are going through. I started working out and eating right in October 2004, at about 210-220lbs. I was diligent, working out 6 days a week… eating good foods. The whole nine. My major first goal was the fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. Once I got into them, and found a little slack… I totally gave up on dieting and exercising.

    After months and months of being “good” I had increased my metabolism enough so where it would maintain 160lbs without much effort. I ate like crap, I didn’t workout, and yet I didn’t gain anything back. I was floored.

    All of a sudden, I am gaining again. I am 167, where at one point I was as low as 147 (heartbreak diet last year). I am flabby and out of shape again. Your body can only sustain this for so long before it rebels and you see negative results. Now is the time to put in your best effort at being conscious of your eating habits and working out frequently.

    My biggest complaint about weight loss surgery was the same as weight loss pills – it teaches people nothing about long term good eating habits. Crash diets are the same. You lose weight quickly, but it doesn’t teach you how to survive as a thinner person. This is where you need to put your mind into it. You have gone this far, now you need to prove to yourself that this was all worth the pain, discomfort and limitations. Love that thinner body… love it right down to your goal weight. Do not give up, you have achieved so much.

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