This is why we’re fat: Halloween Edition

My husband (W) took the kids (X and Z, dressed as a fireman and cowboy respectively) out for maybe 40 minutes and came back with the haul pictured below, which included probably 120 mini chocolate bars, 40 assorted candy packages and 25 mini-chip bags…

We had maybe 10% “crap” – pure sugar – that we pitched, but mostly it was “good” stuff. Ugh.

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There is a package of Tropical Skittles calling my name…

This is why we’re fat…

Wow…this last few weeks have been so busy, and the next few are (I’m sure) only going to get crazier!

So, quick update – I’ve now lost 22 lbs since I started my pre-op diet (about 5 weeks ago), and it is blowing my mind that I am actually noticing a difference in how my clothes fit (at least tops, since I seem to have lost in the chest/belly area – and yes, that sadly includes my boobs). At my weight, height and build, I would have never thought I would notice a difference losing only 20 lbs, but even a couple of friends and family members have commented on it.

I think it’s nature’s way of encouraging me at this point, LOL

Today is dangerous though – Halloween. Ugh. One of the least wonderful times of the year if you are trying to lose weight (or just not pig out on candy). It would be one thing if I just had to give out candy – I’d go buy it the same day, give it out, and make sure there were no leftovers. BUT. I have kids. Little kids who don’t understand why Mommy is being mean and taking away their candy (it’s bad enough explaining why I insist on going through and taking out all the cheap nasty sugar stuff like Rockets and cheap lollipops and throwing it out). So I have to endure months of having Halloween candy around, because I am that bitch of a mother that only lets them have one thing per day.

In the grand scheme of things though, I guess I only have to endure it for just over a week, since I’ll then be in Mexico at the wedding, on my pre-op diet for two weeks (and I will NOT cheat and risk my surgery having issues), and then unable to eat it even if I wanted to. So…maybe it’s not that bad after all.

Which brings me to the title of this post…well, actually it doesn’t, but just pretend that was a smooth segue, okay? Thanks, y’all!

Anyway, this is a little funny my friends and I have. None of us are, shall we say, thin (although the degree of non-thinness varies greatly). And we all really like food. A lot. In fact we talk about it ALL the time. We’ve always said that we need to have our own reality show (cause seriously, we are THAT funny, and fabulous…and scandalous), and at one point we had decided it should be called “I Could Eat” and every show would be us eating and being fabulously hilarious.

Why “I Could Eat”? Because whenever we ask each other “hey, are you hungry?”, the answer is always “I could eat”. Even if we just ate. Because that’s us…we could pretty much always eat.

Which leads into “this is why we’re fat”.

We usually bust this out when we’ve just eaten 3 cupcakes each, or when we make chocolate-dipped bacon, or when we base road-trips around where we want to eat. Yep. Literally, “this is why we are fat”.

And yes, it’s a joke, and it’s funny…cause it’s true.

My friends are amazing, supportive, loving people (and that includes my wonderful husband too) and we have all been slowly changing our attitudes toward food etc., and we could all stand to make healthier choices for various reasons (and I shan’t air my friends dirty laundry on this blog). I’m hoping that this surgery does change things a bit for them as well. Not that I want them to change their habits because of me, but I do think that if we change our habits as group, everyone will benefit!

So…my/our “this is why we’re fat” moment for this weekend?

W (hubby), M (bf) and I are driving 4 hours and staying overnight to go to…a restaurant. My “last supper” is coming a little early, in celebration of my hubby’s birthday (and mine to some degree, as it’s two weeks after my surgery, I won’t be partying it up). I chose one of our fave places, Texas de Brazil (a brazilian churrascaria), because it’s the sort of place that I know I won’t be going anytime soon after my surgery (as it would just be a waste of money at that point).

This weekend, I’ll be enjoying my ridiculous amount of meat and I’m sure it’ll run through my mind at least once.

This is why I am fat.

 

Video: A Little History…

Wow…I am in serious nesting mode right now. I just keep thinking of things to buy, stuff to rearrange, clean up, clean out, get rid of etc. Kind of hilarious actually!

As of this morning I’m down almost 19 lbs from my highest weight (I’m expecting to really only have maybe 2-3 lbs losses per week until my liquid diet, so I’m right on track).

I’m going to be posting links to my YouTube video blog whenever a new video is posted, in addition to my regular blog posts. If you’re following both you may find some things are repeated, so apologies in advance for that!

In addition to doing a weekly pre-op update on Fridays, I’ll probably just make a video whenever I have a chance on various topics pre-op, so expect a lot more action in the upcoming weeks.

Below is a new video where I talk mostly about my relationship with food throughout my life:

 

Putting it all out there…

Okay, I’ve been bad at posting updates lately…ugh! So much going on and my surgery is now in less than 6 weeks!

I am now down 17.5 lbs on my pre-op diet (from my highest weight) and it’s still going well, although there are definitely a few cheat meals happening weekly. Trying to find the balance between feeling like I’m giving myself and adequate “food funeral”, and making up for that with sticking to the strict 1200-1300 calories a day, low carb, low fat, high protein diet.

Part of my research for the 12-18 months has been watching YouTube videos. Sounds strange, right? But there is a healthy community of WLS patients who have (and continue) to document their weight loss journeys, and their personal stories are so powerful. I’ve learned so much, and been inspired, and strengthened by those who have put themselves out there fully – the good, the bad and the ugly.

I started thinking that it was only fitting that I do the same thing, beyond this blog, and start posting videos myself. Maybe one day someone considering the same path may find them useful!

Soooooo…

I posted my first YouTube video today, and it’s pretty real. Typing “460 lbs” on this blog is one thing, and saying “I weigh(ed) 460 pounds” on video for the world to see is something else. But, it’s part of the journey, and it’s necessary.

I’ve embedded the video below, and you can subscribe to my YouTube channel (LessofSarah, ‘natch) here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/LessofSarah

 

Lookin’ up…

Thankfully, the Hunger Monster arrived to bitch-slap me and then took off as quickly as it appeared…

Yesterday and today have been totally fine as far as hunger, and I’m doing well at keeping it to 1200 calories. As much as I’d like to go lower, I’ve decided it just isn’t necessary. I will have my two week pre-op diet for that, and an entire lifetime post-surgery. I am just sticking to eating healthy, lots of protein, not so much in the carbs and fats department and tracking everything – for me, for now, that’s enough.

Tomorrow is my week 2 weigh-in day (although yes, it has technically only been 12 days – I just think it’s better to do a weigh-in on Friday than Sunday/Monday), so we’ll see how much I’ve lost this week. Obviously it isn’t going to be 12 pounds, but I’d be happy with 3 or 4. Ideally I’d like to lose a total of 30-35 pounds before surgery, but that’s just a generic number that makes me feel better – not really based on anything other than it would great to go into surgery with my weight in the 420s instead of the 450s, right?

Tracking everything I eat has made me VERY aware, which is a good thing, but it also makes me feel a bit guilty about my cheat meals, I won’t lie. Still, I believe I’m doing what I need to do – proving to myself than I *can* do this, while still allowing myself a few before-surgery indulgences that I may not have again (for a while, if not ever).

Tomorrow my oldest (X) turns 7. I can’t even believe how time flies. I remember promising myself that after I had kids I would seriously so SOMETHING about my weight…just took me 3.5 years after I popped out #2 (Z) to do it. But, I’ll just consider it a 35th birthday present to myself (I turn 35 two weeks post-surgery).

Since it’s his birthday, we let him pick a place to eat. His choice? Boston Pizza.

I seriously love that kid. After having literally eaten one slice of (12 grain) bread in the past 12 days, I am dying for pizza (probably my fave food ever). So excited. Sad but true.

Not so excited when I look at the nutritional info for my pizza of choice:

Tropical Chicken, Individual: 850 calories, 96g carbs, 32g fat, 47g protein

Ugh. I’m just going to take it for what it is – the last time I’ll be enjoying this particular pizza (for a very long time anyway), and enjoy every bite.

I may even throw in some bacon-wrapped sirloin skewers as an app – go protein šŸ˜‰

 

Ugh…Hunger Monster :(

Ah Murphy’s Law…you taught me a lesson today, and it educated me swiftly and humbled me completely.

Just yesterday in the car my husband (W) and I were talking about my upcoming surgery and my current diet etc. I made the mistake (clearly a ridiculously huge mistake) of telling him that I thought it was going pretty darn well, and that it almost seemed a little too easy. I didn’t feel horribly deprived, I wasn’t really all that hungry (afterall, I was eating six times a day!) and I hoped (what a sucker) that at least pre-op might continue to be not-so-terrible.

Hahahaha…the Hunger Monster knew better, and I obviously became the target of its ire by saying such a ridiculous thing.

Today…I was hungry. Like all the time. Like unless there was food in my mouth, I was hungry. For what? Anything. Like literally…anything. I would have preferred a triple-cheese pizza, but I didn’t really care.

And I’m not even sure why, that is the most irritating part of this whole day.

Yes, I was trying to stick to 1200-1300 calories today instead of 1500, but I’ve had 1300 calories days before, so that shouldn’t have been an issue.

GRRRRRR!

But, I can say that I held off the Hunger Monster for today – stuck to my plan (even though I went grocery shopping today and had to walk by the bread and baked goods…oh.my.gawd.) and tomorrow is another day.

Hopefully another day where the Hunger Monster stays where it belongs – in the damn closet.

 

The journey of a thousand miles…

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had decided to “diet” when we came back from our vacation…

My thought was that now that I had made the decision to have surgery, I didn’t want every day to become a “let’s eat everything in sight that I can’t eat after surgery” sort of thing (which happens to some people, and could easily happen to me to be honest). I decided that if I tried to stick to a “diet” (a specific number of calories and protein/carb/fat ratio) that it would have a few benefits:

* Preparing me to eat the kinds of foods I’ll be eating often for the next 18 months

* Getting in the habit of recording EVERYTHING (the MyFitnessPal app is AMAZING – one week and I can’t live without it)

* Making sure I was paying attention to everything I ate and drank – allowing myself cheat days or meals, but being aware of exactly what I was doing

* “Detoxing” a bit before surgery and…

* Losing weight (duh!)

So, I started tracking last Sunday (I always think starting on Monday dooms one to failure, LOL) and I did very well overall, with two “cheat” meals – “Irish Nachos” (think homemade potato chips covered in cheese & bacon with sour cream) one night at karaoke and chicken wings one night with my DH (W) and BFF (M).

I had actually gained 5 pounds on vacation (not bad, and to be expected), so I was actually started off from my all-time highest weight. Kind of a bummer, but you have to love the first week of a diet, right?

‘Cause I lost 12 pounds last week! Now I know it’s now 12 pounds of fat mind you, and I know this week won’t be that spectacular, but it was all good.

Last week my goal was 1500 calories, that included one protein shake in the morning. I’m going to keep my actual “goal” on MFP at 1500 this week, but my real goal will be 1200, including two protein shakes a day. I may not be able to do 1200, but I’m going to give it a try – if not, I’ll just make sure I keep as close to 1200 as possible.

(Aside: 1500 may not sound like a big deal; however…for my age/height/weight/gender/activity level, the number of calories I have to eat to maintain my weight is around 3400, so 1500 is less than half)

I’m still going to allow myself my “cheat” meals here and there (one a week is my aim, but it may end up being two), but I’ve actually had to eat out quite a bit this week and kept it all within my daily plan/totals, which was great.

A couple times when I had to sit and watch hubby or one of the kids eat or drink something I really, really wanted, I just asked them for one bite or one sip. And the crazy thing was – that was enough! Yes, it was extra calories, but they were worth it – I was not going to be thinking about that bacon cheeseburger all night, because I tried it.

I’m hoping to keep the one-bite/one-sip philosophy going throughout this journey (but only when I *really* want something, and only if it’s something I can tolerate that that point) , because I do think that 100% deprivation isn’t a viable lifelong solution.

I’ll keep up with some updates on this pre-op diet, but there’s lots more to talk about too, I promise!

 

Things that made me go hmmm (on vacation)…

Truth be told, I had a few more eye openers on this vacation, and they were all due to…

Karaoke.

No really! I swear it sound weird, but karaoke has (directly or indirectly) taught me so many lessons over the years.

I love singing – I just never thought I was very good at it. I was always afraid that I was like the people you see on American Idol who are convinced they are amazing, but they seriously suck. When I discovered karaoke, I was too scared to sing on my own…a total chicken. But as the years went on, and because my friends are theatre nerds and music lovers too, and we started to go once a month or twice a month, my confidence grew. And as my confidence grew, so did my voice and my “vocal stylings”, and so did the number of compliments I received.

The idea that someone would take the time to come up to me and tell me I had a great voice was so strange to me…crazy. I don’t think it’s that’s great to be honest, but compared to other karaoke singers, sure, it’s probably alright. I’m don’t have a lot of character in my voice, I don’t have great tone, I’m not a technically proficient singer, but if people enjoy it – that’s awesome.

So, one night on our cruise, after karaoke, I had this sweet Puerto Rican woman come up to me and tell me how beautiful my voice was. And then proceed to tell me that I was beautiful on the inside and the outside and I should never feel badly about myself, and should never let anyone tell me any different. That my voice was a gift and that even though people may not be able to see past my appearance, even though the industry is all about looks, that I could “make it” if I wanted to.

I know that she absolutely was being gracious and kind by saying that, and she was a super fun and sweet woman, but it left me feeling…irritated. I couldn’t quite place it at first, but it hit me all of a sudden – she assumed that I was ashamed of being fat and it was holding me back.

The fact is, I’m just not good enough to be a professional singer – fat or not – so my weight isn’t holding me back. And for most of my life I haven’t really felt that bad about it. But I realized in that moment that is what people see when they see me – someone who SHOULD be ashamed of being so heavy, someone who MUST hate their body, someone who clearly isn’t successful BECAUSE she’s fat. It was something I’d never really realized before…and to be honest, I’m still not sure how it makes me feel.

Karaoke also brought us two new friends on our cruise – E and S, two single karaoke-loving dudes (a corporate lawyer and a musician/teacher, go figure). Evan actually sent us over a bottle of wine one night at dinner as an ice breaker, because he said he saw me sing Adele at karaoke on the first night of cruise and (being a musician himself) felt he had to get to know us, LOL. We’re definitely the same kind of people, that’s for sure. Because it was a short cruise, we didn’t have much time to really all hang out, but we did hang out the last few night, and in fact my husband (W), best friend (M) and I talked with E and S on the last night of our cruise until 5:45 am.

Well okay, W & M talked to S about politics, healthcare, Canadian vs American higher education system…E and I talked about sex, musical, boobies, dating, orgasms, friends, and um…sex. I know that sounds terribly perverted, but you probably had to be there šŸ˜‰

One thing that came up that sort of threw me for a loop was that E (who we knew was “celebrating” his divorce) shared with me that his wife had gastric bypass (which he supported her through), lost a ton of weight and left him for a guy she met on a WLS support forum.

WOW. I was floored at that moment. He had no idea that I was having surgery (of course I shared with him that I was, and he too has been approved for surgery but hasn’t gone through the process yet).

It really made me think. I know that there are many people who have WLS and it messes with their relationships, and I always thought it was because they were on rocky ground to start with. But to have this sweet, great guy (seemingly anyway) tell me that his wife just left him after she had surgery and lost weight…it hit home.

I don’t believe that would ever happen to us, because I think overall we’re good, but…do you ever really know what you would do? I wish I could say it would never happen, but I can’t. That scares me.

But, there is one thing that I have going for me. I think in many cases (especially with women), some women who lose weight feel like they missed out on something when they were fat – the attention of men – and they eat it up when they are suddenly not-so-fat. And it messes with them. But one of the reasons they probably missed out is because THEY lacked confidence and self-esteem, not because they weren’t attractive.

On the flip-side, I always felt I was attractive and was pretty damn confident. In high school, I got the most dates and had the most boyfriends of my skinny friends. In university, I dated quite a bit. I got hit on just like everyone else (although admittedly maybe not quite as much). I never felt like I missed anything. Then I met my husband (at 21) and got married (at 24) and I never once thought I was “settling”, or that it was the best I could do so I might as well go with it. Never once.

So I have no desire to lose weight and sow my wild oats – I sowed them long ago. Will I still enjoy the attention of men? Sure! But I just see it as a compliment, not an affirmation.

That said, I have no idea how this journey is going to affect our relationship, but I’m willing to work at it, like we always have.

Maybe “for fatter or thinner” wasn’t in our vows, but I’m just going to pretend it was.

 

If only I could take a vacation from being fat…

So, I wanted to post a bit about my vacation, because in so many ways it was an eye-opener for me…

The vacation itself was something I’ve done many times before – a cruise out of Florida – but I just had this new mindset, and I saw things through different eyes.

I realized how much things revolved around food – in fact, we had our pre-cruise lunch and dinner spots planned months before the trip – and I’m not sure what to make of that to be honest. The fact is, part of the reason I’m fat is that I love food – and although it may be scandalous to say it, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. There is a part of me that will “mourn” not being able to eat the way I used to (just like someone who smokes mourns the feeling of smoking, and an alcoholic mourns the taste of alcohol), but it’s not even just about food – it’s about the social aspect as well. So much of our socializing (as humans, in every culture) revolves around food. That will definitely make this journey more difficult, for sure (just like a smoker misses theĀ camaraderieĀ of being stuck outside with others, or an alcoholic misses the regulars at his local bar), but I refuse to let it beat me and I just hope that my friends and family understand that I in no way want or expect them to change their habits for me.

I told myself I was starting to make changes when I got back, and I allowed myself to think of this vacation as one last “hurrah”. Is that a silly way of thinking – maybe, but it made me feel better. And the strange thing was…I probably ate less than I would have normally, because no matter what, the change has already happened. I have changed and there is no going back. That was comforting in a way. Does that mean I didn’t eat what I wanted? No – I ate, I drank a lot of calories (oh boy, did I!), I didn’t deprive myself…but the difference was I thought about everything I put in my mouth, and made the decision to do it. I got back the control that I had been lacking for years (or maybe forever, to be perfectly honest).

So does that mean the trip was a positive, uplifting experience? Sort of. The problem is that with heightened awareness, you see the good and the bad more clearly. I became acutely aware of all those things that I try to brush off – paying for an extra airline seat, asking for a seatbelt extender, wondering if you’re going to fit in the airport lounge seat, or the restaurant booth, or if the seatbelt will fit in your rental car, or if you’re going to be able to make it out of the ocean surf without falling directly on your face. Yeah, good times. I never realized how much anxiety and stress being super morbidly obese brings into everyday life – not that I was in denial, just that I became “used” to dealing with the anxiety like a normal thing. But, on the flip-side, I considered that next year when we go on a family cruise in October, I will be 11 months post-op, and it’s very possible that a lot of those issues will have actually disappeared from my life completely.

Of course, my favourite part of my vacation always also tends to be the most traumatic – going to the beach. The truth is that my self-esteem is probably higher than it should be – yes, I’m fat. But I try to dress nicely, look good, I’m mobile, I’m okay. It has definitely been declining though in the past few years, and the beach is just the pinnacle of those feelings. I often make jokes about Greenpeace showing up to try to save me, because I do feel like a large sea mammal when I’m at the beach. Even though in so many other situations I can get over it – nobody’s perfect after all – but the beach, it just seems to get me every time. Ā So, cover up as much as I can (my current look is usually swim capris, a swim tank and then a short-sleeve rasher over it – short of a swim burka, that’s the best I can do) and I try to concentrate on how much I love the beach and being in the water.

So, I’m looking forward to next year’s trip with great anticipation, because I know it will be a great measuring stick to show me just how far I’ve gone in my journey, and how much more is left to go!