Weight Update

So, if anyone has been on tenter hooks waiting to hear from me about my surgery, it was cancelled. Unfortunately, covid 19 came to my work and we lost a few lovely old folks- who were end of life which is why they were with us, and about 21 of the staff team tested positive including me! I had felt some cold like symptoms- sneezing, snotty nose and my chest felt a little off, not unusual for an asthamtic in Winter. Anyway, I was self isolating on my lead up to surgery, following the Liver Reduction Diet and generally psyching myself up, went for the covid test and blood test on the Wednesday, got a call on Thursday saying I was positive for covid and surgery was cancelled for Saturday. Called work then booked myself and husband for another test as I was convinced it must be a false positive, it wasn’t! But hubby was negative and no symtoms of any kind which was good, so after already isolating for 12days, we then had to really isolate for another 10. I am lucky to get paid as I work in health care, hubby didn’t but managed to move some annual leave around to help him out. We are not eligible for any assistance as we earn too much- which isn’t actually a lot! I was on a total rollercoaster of emotions for next few days, angry, upset, frustrated, depressed, hopeless, glad, happy etc. After the weekend, I did start to even out again, the Saturday which was meant to be operation day was the worst emotion wise, I felt like a complete failure, I couldn’t even get surgery right.

Long story short, what I took from the LRD and lead up from the 1st Jan was that I had actually lost weight, I had walked a lot on LRD- completely on my own and in quiet isolated areas so no risk to anyone before I knew I was positive-so it proved my body was capable of so much more than I had ever realised. By the end of Jan I had lost 1stone 7pounds and was very curious about how I had done this! That month, we had one take away pizza on the day I found out I had covid, it was sooo good, and I drank one bottle of wine on the 31st Jan. I had no interest in chocolate and things were great, I was also off work for most of the month and this set me up well. Once I was back in work and trying to figure out eating, managing emotions and the usual crap thats difficult for those of us with weight issues I hit a plateau. Instead of my usual reaction of exclaiming I had failed yet again and was clearly a complete waste of space, I read about plateaus and wondered with myself if that might be why I had infact appeared to have gained two pounds yet knew I was calorie counting well. I stuck with it and the following week I lost the two gained pounds, plus another one! Over Feb I lost 5 and a half pounds. My exercise/walking went to pot in Feb, a mix of tiredness back in work, struggles with eating, feeling overwhelmed at times and general life made it a very tricky month. So, I decided that for March I wouldn’t focus on a weight loss goal, but a physical movement goal, so I decided to set myself a goal of 11k steps a day for the entire month. This has been the push I needed to get myself moving again and I have done some great walks and at 19 days in have done at least 11k steps every day! I am very proud of myself! Eating is still a massive issue and some days I am winning and others I am doing my best.

I feel I am learning lots of things about myself that I never knew before, I feel that some skills I couldn’t grasp before are starting to make sense and my ability to use those skills is improving. I am trying to just be curious, nothing is black and white, I am constantly learning and educating myself around weight management. I have ruled out bariatric surgery, but not the gastric balloon which would assist me with portion control and they have a substantial supportive 18month psychological program as well. As it stands I have lost 2stone 3pounds to date, I have never lost this much weight before! I am giving myself until my birthday doing it this way and then will revisit the balloon. Currently I am using my fitness pal to work towards a calorie deficit, continuing with DBT, reading books like Dr Chatterjee Lose Weight Feel Great and still speaking to fitness lady from the NHS!

Stay safe everyone!

Weight Part 4

A couple of months ago, I had a zoom meeting with a surgeon to discuss bariatric surgery. I have spent many years thinking about doing it, then hoping I could make the life changes needed to lose weight myself, failing and gaining more weight, whilst simultaneously eroding my self belief and self worth. By making everything about my weight, by tying all my self worth to the scales, I made my relationship with food and eating volatile and unpleasant, going from eating whatever I want, gaining weight, to trying to restrict, struggling to do so and then ‘failing’ continuing the cycle. Leading me to this person today, who is relatively happy with her life, who is actually quite successful in many areas, but feels her weight is the most defining thing. I have been working on this area, my brain, with some positive progress recently, but I am uncomfortable in my body, I do feel shame and guilt for being morbidly obese, I do feel less worthy, I am not someone who can love my weight as it is.

I started an online DBT group, which has definately helped me to start making some good progress brain wise, and the lady who created this group had a gastric sleeve, making her relateable in a way many others aren’t. One of the things she says, is that having surgery is not a cop out, it is not the easy option, it is a life chagning tool which just boosts those of us that struggle in this area. She said that when she decided to have the surgery, she felt a weight was lifted, and that it made sense. I felt the same after talking to the surgeon. This is a relatively low risk, minimally invasive- comparative to other surgeries-tool which could, no, will, assist me to change my life. It it not about my size as such, I just want to feel more comfortable, when I drive the steering wheel doesnt touch my tummy, when I reach to put socks on I can breathe, when I want to put clothes on I am not restricted in any way, if a resident falls, getting on the floor with them doesn’t make me want to fall into the ground because I am so awkward when getting on and off the floor. I cannot remember a time when I was a slim person, I have no comparison on how it feels to not be big, I am excited to move as a smaller person, to see how it feels, if life is less awkward and cumbersome. I mean, it would be easier if I could just love me and be happy, but this is not feasible at my current size. I have no interest in being tiny, I feel a size 16 would be tiny enough as a goal!

So, here I am, booked in for surgery on 23/01/2021, I have had my preop assessment, and am now very nervous when I think about surgery, but I have tried so many different things and I am ready for a big change. I am planning on changing many things in the next few weeks, not for ‘new year new me’, but for new year and more adventurous me!

Weight part 1

So, I have struggled with my weight for my entire life it feels- in my memory I was always a little bigger than others, except when I was a baby maybe…I always had a little tummy- oh its just puppy fat, you will grow out of it! Except, I would have had to grow to about 10ft tall to have been in proportion by the time I was in my 20’s. I remember very distinctly when I was 11, we went to Florida for the first time, I wasn’t fat per se, but I was soft, and on the first day I ended up with horrid chaffeing on my thighs and it really put a downer on the holiday.

I don’t remember ever being comfortable in my body, it feels as though we have been at war for so long. I remember trying the Atkins diet with my mum and stepdad when I was around 13/14, trying weight watchers by 15 and all sorts of other diets from then until now. None of these things ever helped me, and I feel that they in fact increased my very unhealthy relationship with food. I lived between my parents and they were both very different in the way they treated food. My mum didn’t believe in restrictions or not having certain foods, my stepdad cooked well and we always had access to sweets and chocolates, I would get pudding but had to eat all my dinner first. My dad was very much a ‘we don’t have that crap in this house’ kinda guy, my stepmum is an amazing cook and would make great meals. It was at my dad’s house I first started to secret eat. I would buy crap and eat it in secret then hide away any evidence, I did this from a young age- definately early teens until mid way through my 20’s. Though it wasn’t always a secret and I would definately binge eat too. I spent a lot of time with my grandma when I was growing up, and she would always give me the biscuit tin with my cup of tea and she would allow me to have as many biscuits as I wanted, it was always a lot. I do not blame my family for my poor eating habits, but feel that I was confused about the role of food and treats and always having to eat until over full to fit in a pudding, food was a source of comfort and pleasure, it didn’t judge or make rules and it made me feel happy. I have over eaten for as long as I can remember, always eating until it was uncomfortable, doesn’t matter how big a portion, I would eat it!

I was planning on writing more, but to be honest, this has made me feel quite vulnerable and emotional! I am rarely honest about my eating with anyone, I accept I am fat and do not pretend that I don’t know why. I understand exactly why, I understand how to lose weight but the brain battle and habits are so entrenched and fixed, it is very hard to move forward. Bear with me, I am hoping that by allowing my brain to fart all this stuff, I can help to get it on my side 🙂

Jodie