ALMOST 9 months!

So here I am. On the eve of my 9 months post op. I’ve been on this journey as long as a baby develops. It’s a long time. And it flew by like the Southeaster winds here in Cape Town.

 

And I have such mixed feelings. I don’t know where to begin.

 

I honestly don’t!

 

Today I am wearing a pair of skinny jeans. It would never have fit me EVER, not even closely. Couldn’t get my calves in there even. And now? The bloody pants is too big! I am sitting here and it is hanging loose around my hips and legs. And it says SKINNY on it!

 

Of course I am not skinny. Not yet. Hopefully one day.

Anyway. It is a weird feeling.

 

Sometimes I still get surprised at random stuff. Like last night I was stretching my arm out to my love, and I looked at my arm, and I was like, who’s thin arm is this???

 

I have lost two thirds of my excess weight. A third still to go. I realise I won’t make it in time for my one year anniversary on April 17th. But that is ok. As long as I am weighing in the 80s, I will be elated (that is in kilograms – even if it is 89,9 kg, I’ll be so happy!). because the thing is, I can’t REMEMBER when last I was that weight. I remember when I was 17 years old, I weighed in the 90s. So I’ll be really happy if I am in the 80s by then.

 

This operation has changed my life. It changed me. In a good way.

If you are considering it, prepare yourself though. The MENTAL ride you go on is the craziest thing ever.

Maybe it’s just me. Probably is, just me. I had some mental problems beforehand, that was never dealt with. But you see, I do tend to believe that all people (well, most, there are exceptions to this) who are so grossly overweight do have some mental issue of some kind. And they self-medicated with food. That is how you get this size. That is my take on it, in any case.

 

And even if you didn’t get at that size because of some issues, you certainly GET some issues being that big – what with all the taunting and self-loathing, and degrading of yourself. The everyday struggle. Putting yourself down. Being put down by others. THINKING you see the disdain in strangers’ eyes. That does something to a person.

Anyway. So my biggest journey, to my surprise, was not the pounds lost showing up on the scale (although that was the initial high and yay and hoorah). No, my biggest journey is getting to the centre of me. Of who I am. What is wrong. And how can I fix it. And that I am ok enough. That I am actually a great person. That I can and will and shall deal with my demons. Deal with it, and then put it away. And live my life. As I should’ve been doing (and never ever really was).

 

So that’s me being all philosophical on the eve of my 9 months post op!

 

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the day my hero died

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I am currently feeling so strange, so strange.

 

 

Perhaps the passing of the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, has a lot to do with it.

 

This whole week has been full of ups and downs rollercoaster.

 

My weight is coming off very slowly, veeery slowly.

 

I am eating as I should. Proteins, low carbs. The only thing I am struggling a bit with is sugar. I drink a lot more tea than I used to. My go to “fix” is tea now. And I haven’t been able to switch to sweetener.

 

So I think that is holding me back a bit. And my eating some chocolate every now and then. Chocolate doesn’t make me dump, strangely so. And it is definitely an upper.

 

Something in which I feel I am in short supply of lately. My mental state is weirdly messed up, but perhaps I am getting better. Seeing my psychologist every week now and I think it is helping, although I find the whole process quite unsettling.

 

I don’t really like to talk about my feelings and emotions, I realised. I shy away from it.

A lot of small little issues coming to the fore, the more weight I lose.

 

Anyhoo.

 

Going to see my psychiatrist on Monday again. Hopefully he’ll up my medicine. The anxiousness and nervousness is still there. It is better, but sometimes it grips me at my throat.

And then I drink a sip of benylin cough syrup. Not good. Not good at all, I know that. I am after the codeine. It spaces me out and I feel zombified and that makes me feel happy.

So there is a problem.

What, I don’t know yet. But there’s a problem.

I suspect that I actually might be suffering from borderline personality disorder. But my psychologist is weary to make a diagnosis. Which is also frustrating a bit as I need to know what is “wrong” with me, so that I can make peace with it and learn how to cope with it.

Now it is just in the air.

Feeling weeeeeird.

 

But happy about my weightloss. Although I hoped it was more by now. I’ve lost a 100 pounds (45kgs). But I still have about 35kgs to go. Oi vey.

The weird depressed state anxious place I am in is also keeping me away from the gym. It is as if I just don’t have energy to lift my arm. I fall asleep when I get home and then I can’t sleep at night. I just don’t have the strength to go to the gym.

 

It’s crazy how one’s head can mess with everything about you.

 

I am talking in circles. I am sad today. My hero died last night. Rest in peace, uTata Madiba.

FIVE MONTHS OUT!

So today marks my 5 months post op halfway house.

 

And where am i?

 

Physically I am in quite a good space. I have lost 37 kilograms. That is almost 40!  That’s crazy man. I want to start lauging when I see that, I mean, who loses 40 kilograms? Definitely not ME, other people, I READ about, not me, not in a million years.

 

And here I am. Almost 40kgs lighter.

 

I am only halfway there, though. Another 40 to go. But somehow 40 does seem a bit more doable than 80 (seeing I have done 40 now and KNOW I can do it).

What a crazy thought.

 

Would it seem really horrible of me if I stated here that I think it should be more? That I could’ve done more? Because you know what, I could’ve. I’ve sabotaged myself here and there over the past 5 months. I only started exercising about two weeks ago (yeah, that is a shocker, for various reasons). I should’ve started a month post op, imagine where I could’ve been?

Also, I tend to eat chocolate. That is my only little pleasure left, and I indulge in it sometimes. Not all the time, and no not nearly as much as before the op.

 

But still it is there. And following the rules – it shouldn’t be. It doesn’t help that I don’t dump on chocolate (lucky me!!). but I will dump (or rather, go into a state of disarray) on apples.

 

So it frustrates me. The weight is coming off much more slowly now, and I want it to go faster. I don’t really know what I am feeling, to tell you the truth.

Something I have to say – and I realise this time and again – the biggest obstacle and challenge is mental. It is not physically. It is not the eating and the exercising and the not eating.

It is what is going on in your head. Well, for me that is, at least.

I get very emotional. I freak out. I cry. I get despondent. I get difficult. I cry. Sometimes I am elated, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this op is putting one into a depression. God, not at all, do you know how much happier a human being I am for having this op? a lot!  I am just saying – it plays some mental tricks on you and it takes some time to get your ducks in a row.

Things can go haywire, but I suppose it is my hormones and especially also that I don’t have my “crutch” of food anymore. It is like the carpet was pulled from right under me. Things get bad for little Obeasta, and she scurries along to her corner in the dark and go eat something for comfort.

Now something bad happens and Obeasta don’t know where to go.

 

So my biggest wish and hope is that the psychological part of this whole trip of bariatric surgery gets sorted a bit. I find that I don’t really have any support on this front. Supposedly we have, it is in the paperwork, but nah, it doesn’t feel that way.

Also, I wasn’t very comfortable with the psychiatrist we had to see beforehand for the psych eval. That meeting had me feeling that something was lacking. I don’t know. Some understanding? Support? I am quite the observer and consider myself a good judger of people (jeez that sounds bad), but I just knew that I will not be returning to this man for guidance and help in the future.

And that leaves me out in the cold, because where do I turn?

I’ve been looking for psychologists specialising in patients with bariatric surgery and I haven’t found any. Here in Cape Town.

In the papers we received, a name was given of a lady that is part of the bariatric support team. In fact her details are still on there. But I haven’t seen her, not ONCE at any meeting or anything. I also heard from more than one patient that they had quite an upsetting experience with her and didn’t go back.

So where does this leave me?

I feel I need to talk to someone about everything that is happening to me. And also, how to develop strategies to relearn ways of dealing with issues. Obviously I’ve dealt with it incorrectly in the past (read: eating it all quiet).

The mental part of this journey is so so so important and honestly, it is the thing I struggled with most. The bariatric team behind me are so splendid, and did such an excellent job, it saddens me that this one part of it is falling behind so much. Especially as it is one of the most important parts. I need to sort my head out if I want this to be a success in the long term!

 

HEEEEEEEELP!

 

(but otherwise all is good in Obeastaland, thanks for asking.)

Victories 1

Victory 1 – I can take a nice hot bath! Before the op I couldn’t fit into our bath. How sad is that?

Victory 2 – I am not falling asleep at work anymore! In fact, I have quite some energy and tend to be quite upbeat. That’s new.

Victory 3 – fitting into some clothes that did not fit. At all.

Victory 4 – When we went on holiday 2 weeks ago, I walked for an hour (through a forest) – and then I walked up a mountain! All fairness, it was pretty much a hill. But that damn thing felt like a mountain. And I did it! I did it all! If you told me to do that before the op, I would’ve laughed a bit. And then cried a lot.

So on the eve of 3 months post op, things are looking good!

Renewed energy

I can really kick myself in the butt (if I could).

Why? Because I could’ve been further in my weight loss journey. Why? Cause I’ve been messing about, struggling day by day, worrying about what I should eat, and not managing to get in all my vitamins and such.

And what was the result? Me becoming a crazy person.

Yep, one big crying mess always feeling on edge. And sometimes snapping at my loved ones.

So you know what happened last night? My awesome boyfriend said “I am here to help”. And that is what he did.

He dried off my tears and truly let me know I don’t have to do this alone. Cause it is tough, man.

So what did we do?

* worked out a full menu for the week. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. For every day. With variety.
* made a shopping list for exactly what we need for these meals this week.
* worked out a daily schedule for when to take my vits, iron and calcium, all worked around my mealtimes.

Result?

One happy obeast!

Feeling on control and I am content! So whenever you feel the crazy coming on, stop for a moment and check whether all tour ducks are in a row for the week. If they are not, do it immediately, and I promise solemnly that you will feel brand spanking now.

Now why the hell did I not start doing this earlier??

this is the year!!!

Hiya!

I am back in front of the computer, after a much deserved, and thoroughly enjoyed, holiday.

Everything is still on track. Although I haven’t heard from my doctor regarding the appointments yet… At least I know I am on track.

Why??? CAUSE I’VE STOPPED SMOKING!!

That is HUGE! Yep, decided 1 January is as good a day as any other. And I did it. And it is tough, let me tell you that. I loved smoking. I still love it. If I could smoke, I would. But I know I can’t anymore – not only for the surgery. For my own health.

I mean, this is about me getting my health, right? (don’t want to say “getting my health BACK”, cause I don’t think I ever had it)

Ok, so one thing at a time. Stop smoking. Check.

 

Meeting the doctor.

I’ve jumped over my second hurdle! I am indeed in this race, and I am in it to win it!

Was quite stressed the whole day – didn’t get to do much work (I am trying to make up for it today, that is why I could only come and post now).

When I arrived, I had to fill in 3 sets of forms. The ins and outs of my history. Diet history. Of what I’ve done in the past. Conditions I am currently suffering from. Causes, perhaps. Family problems? All kinds of questions for the doctor to better understand my case.

And then I met him! And he impressed me immensely. He has lively eyes, that are soft and understanding. He made me feel welcome, and validated. He seemed impress by the fact that I’ve done a lot of research and know what he speaks about. He explained a few things of the operation itself and WHY it is important.

He also told me that it is more dangerous for me to NOT have this surgery, than actually getting it done.

It hit me against the head. That this kind man (and a bit unnerving, a little bit) is putting it to me like it is.

I am glad I chose him. I can see us walking side by side, on this journey of mine.

What happens next? His office ladies are making my necessary appointments (which will probably only be in January). For the following:

* Sleep study

* Gastroscopy (I don’t know how that’ll work, because I can’t even swallow a tablet – how am I going to swallow a camera?!)

* Abdominal scan

* Blood tests (for all kinds of things – like cholesterol, diabetes, etc)

* Psychologist

* Dietician

So a few more hurdles in the race. Only at the start now. But at least I have begun!!

—- oh, another big thing. I have to stop smoking. Yep. I knew that was coming. It is ok. Although I love smoking, I think it is the fat girl that loves smoking. The skinny me won’t like it all that much. Because the skinny me won’t need that crutch anymore. Plus it stinks and is costing me a lot of money.

The fat girl will be very sad to see the cigarettes go. But that is her problem. Screw you, fat girl, you’ve made my life miserable. I don’t need you and your cigarettes anymore in any case. Stuff you, man.