Gah!

All attempts at getting work done have been derailed. My sweet coworker Julie, who has been through more in the past two years than any woman should have to endure, has informed me that her husband walked out on her Sunday after she discovered a long-hidden pornography addiction. She’s devastated, wondering how in God’s name her 28-year marriage can survive this.  And where it all came from, and how she missed it all these years, etc.

My heart is broken for Julie. It’s not that pornography is the worst thing in the world. It’s that her husband has been lying and hiding and concealing this problem for their entire marriage and she feels beyond betrayed. And he doesn’t seem willing to do anything about it. Please pray for Julie and her husband Paul–they clearly need divine intervention right now!

On another note, I had my second bariatric study meeting yesterday and it was much, much better. Subject #2 seemed much more grounded this week… no more pie-in-the-sky “WLS fixes life” talk. Progress, people!

I need to write a 15-page research proposal and then take a final exam while filling in for Julie who’s taking the week off to deal with her family crisis. Please pray for her–and me!

Summer is coming. Summer is coming. Summer is coming.

And it all comes crashing down

Two final projects done. One to go. Lord help me make it to Friday!

This time next week, I’ll be writhing in pain after surgery. And I’m so excited!!! 🙂

I need to tell you guys the truth. I’m a wreck with my post-WLS discipline right now, mostly because of my ridiculous schedule and stress over getting everything done. But here’s the truth: I haven’t even been to the gym in 3 weeks. Three whole weeks (or is it 4?). It started with all my conference travel, but it didn’t end when I got home. It’s not like I’m gaining weight, but I don’t feel as good as I do when I work out. So I acknowledge the problem and I vow to correct the problem, just as soon as my final paper is finished. And then I’ll have a few days to work out before surgery.

Also, I’ve gone completely haywire on my eating. I’m not pigging out, but I’ve somehow forgotten about fresh fruits and vegetables. I need to meal plan again so I can get the good stuff in, keep the bad stuff out, and feel amazing. I got back on track yesterday and I’m already feeling a little better. Now if I could just erase popcorn, crackers, cereal, and CAKE from the earth I would be fine.

I originally thought I’d easily be 155 by surgery. I’m currently 163. That’s okay, it’s not the end of the world, I’ll get to my goal eventually. But I am so looking forward to a summer of a lightened courseload, regular gym workouts, and healthy eating. I miss having time to focus on that stuff. So. Paper, surgery, and then back to the good life!

Lonely Lab Rat

I mentioned that my University has a psychology lab that’s running a bariatric study and I was joining. That first meeting was yesterday and let’s just say that it was a little… uhhh… lonely. And weird. Shall I enumerate the weirdness?

  1. This “group” being studied consists of me and 1 other person. Just one!
  2. I expected questionnaires and tests and experiments. Instead, it’s “group” (two people!) talk therapy. So it’s me, Subject #2, and our two therapists. 2 researchers, 2 subjects. Weird.
  3. When I signed in, the receptionist asked for my payment. Payment? To participate in a research study? I thought I was doing you the favor here? Oh well. $5 seems reasonable for the attention of two psychologists for 90 minutes, right?
  4. The “lab” was strange. A room full of computers, couches, and a mini-kitchen. I know it’s about eating, health, and what-not, but the little play kitchen was odd. Should I bring plastic food next time?
  5. This is a 6-week study. But we may have another person join next week and a fourth person join in two weeks. So I guess it’s a come-when-you-can thing? I don’t understand how that works in terms of research information (or group therapy dynamics for that matter), but whatever.

So considering the strangeness, why am I doing this? The answer is simple: because I like taking 90 minutes a week to be mindful of my body, my weight loss, my journey, and all the changes I’ve been through. It’s not what I expected, but it’s a nice short-term commitment and it helps me maintain focus on my health. It can’t hurt. Plus it’s all for science. Study me, I’m yours!

All that said, can I just tell you how much I don’t jive with subject #2? Here’s why:

  • Lady’s my grandma’s age. There’s no problem there, except that we are really, really different in terms of our lifestyles, influences, etc. For example, she talked about the challenges of growing up in the meat-and-potatoes post-depression food paradigm. The Great Depression? Is relevant to you? Holy crap, that was ages ago!
  • We have different surgeons. Hers is odd. He calls gastric bypass “surgical anorexia” as if that’s a good thing. My surgeon, on the other hand, sees this as a way to eat normally. Not like a bird.
  • Lady sees this as a cure for life, which I think is DANGEROUS. She said “It’s like they did a lobotomy! I just don’t want bad things any more. I’m cured!” Whoa. She also said, “I know I’ll never be fat again!” Whoa. Big, red, flashing lights. Have you not read about post-op weight gain?! I see this all as very non-curative. I’m a work in progress. Always will be.
  • Related to the previous point, chica’s only FOUR months out. It’s all daisies and roses for her right now. Of course she doesn’t want ice cream. Give it time.
  • She introduced herself first and talked about her highest weight of 280, and that she was huge and miserable. I bust out with my 364 and she looked like she might pass out.

She’s sweet. I like her fine. But I don’t think we’re on the same page. Maybe that will change, maybe it won’t. Maybe we’ll just be a really good contrast for the researchers. Time will tell! In the meantime, my assignment for next week is to imagine what it would feel like to be more open with people about my surgery. To just tell people how much I’ve lost and how I’ve done it. We all know I’m weird about sharing this info in my day-to-day life, so I have to visualize myself being more open about it.

It would be uncomfortable.

Liberating.

Easier than worrying about what people think.

Most of all, I think being more open about it would give me opportunities to help people or share what I’ve learned, even if it is just my own situated knowledge. I do want to be an advocate for health, no matter what that looks like for each individual person (WLS or not, “normal” weight or not, fat activism or not). It’s hard to be an advocate for health when I’m hiding what I’ve done (or skirting around it, or keeping it private, or whatever). I want to take an activist’s stance, but I have to put my story–my whole story–out there to do it.

Quickies

A few things:

  • Edited: the plastic surgeon’s nurse called, and we’re still trying to figure out prescriptions. This is kind of a pain!
  • I’m going to be a lab rat! The psychology department at my university (the one where I go to school, not the one where I work) is studying bariatric patients. I’m a part of the study. I go to my first group session tomorrow afternoon and I’ll be sure to fill you in! They’re studying us in terms of body image and all that, so it should be interesting. I hope I can stay in the study, but with surgery coming up I may not be able to make all the group sessions. We’ll see.
  • My body is da bomb. I’ve been eating like a pig and managed to lose 2 pounds this week with no workouts. I know this is a one-time reprieve. But still, I stepped on the scale this morning expecting a huge uptick and was pleasantly surprised! Now back to the gym. If I try really really hard I might make my goal of 155 on surgery day (that’s be 6 pounds in two weeks… not impossible!)

Until next time!

Best line of the day

A student walks into my office. I don’t know all our students (we communicate mostly via email and phone), but she certainly looks familiar. I know her. She knows me.

She says,”Hi. Ummm… hi. Uhhhh… You’re not Meghan, are you?”

I say, “Yeah… I’m Meghan. How are you?”

She says, “OH MY GOD I DID NOT EVEN RECOGNIZE YOU!!! How long has it been since I’ve seen you. OH MY GOD!”

Ha.Whoa.

I mean really?! She wasn’t even sure I was me? She was so sincere with the “you’re not meghan, are you?”

Fun!

Signed, sealed, and (almost) delivered!

Three weeks from tonight, I’ll be laid up in bed moaning and groaning in agony. But it will be worth it, because I’ll be rid of my batwings. And I’ll have acquired a ginormous set of new boobies!

Out with the old, in with the new! Maybe I’ll even get a smashing new tank:

68154492v3_350x350_front_color-white

I kid, I kid.

But really… remember all that talk about “do I want implants? do I not? isn’t it weird get implants? shouldn’t I be natural? I’ll just get the smallest implant available.”

Screw all that. When you get in the room and you try on a surgical bra and actually place the implants inside to get an idea for the size, it’s soooo easy to just say bigger! Bigger!! BIGGER!!

When I said I didn’t want anything insane, Dr. Hartog said, “Okay, we can place a 200cc implant during the lift. If you decide bigger, we can place the implant, leave a tube hanging out, and fill it a week after the lift so your tissue has time to heal before we stretch it back out.”

He knew me better than I knew myself.

I tried the 200. I tried 225. I tried 250.

The nurse smiled a knowing smile and handed me 300.

325.

350.

375!

We stopped there. I was kinda having a crazy identity crisis seeing myself in the mirror with ta-tas again. How I’ve missed them! And cleavage! Remember cleavage?!

My mom and Lee came with me, and it was hilarious. Lee was getting more and more excited with each bigger size. The poor guy was ready to do back hand springs when I kept trying bigger ones!

I lost my mom at 350. For her, that was the max size that didn’t look unnatural. Lee is trying to convince me 375 is the only possible solution or else the earth will crumble.

In my opinion, 350 is luscious and large and proportionate. 375 is hot dayum nice rack! and not exactly, shall we say, conservative.

The nurse thought anything smaller than 300cc’s was too small, and that any where from 300-400cc’s would look right on me.

So here’s what we decided on:  an implant that can be filled within the range of 325-390. So Dr. Hartog will place those implants during my breast lift, leave a little tube out, let the incisions start to heal, and then actually fill the implant with saline one week after the surgery. And we’ll do it in front of a mirror so I’ll actually be able to see my boobs inflate and deflate to the exact fill size I want. How cool is that?!

So I’m signed. (Eight million consent forms)

Sealed. (Paid. Bye, bye savings!)

And almost delivered. (three weeks three weeks three weeks!!)

Bye bye arms. Hellooooo boobs!

Happenings

So here’s what’s up.

Four of us girls at work started a new bible study / interest group on the topic of health, wellness, the body, and the Bible. I led our first meeting yesterday and we talked about our goals, what keeps us from those goals, how we can hold each other accountable / encourage each other in pursuing those goals, etc. There are two of us who want to lose 20 pounds, one who wants to lose 50 or more before trying to get pregnant, and one who is already at an ideal weight but needs help with meal ideas and eating well on a budget.

Once we had our goals mapped out, I focused on vegetables and shared recipes for really yummy veggie dishes. Despite how well it went, I left our meeting feeling frustrated. Our group member who needs to lose 50 pounds talks about wanting to lose weight all the time. But throughout our session yesterday, she was making excuse after excuse–real sugar is better than artificial sweeteners, and she can’t have unsweetened coffee, so she must put sugar in her coffee. (My suggestion for raw cane sugar was scoffed at.) Then came excuse after excuse about needing to indulge every now and then, not being able to exercise, blah blah blah. And all this? With a Dr. Pepper and potato chips in hand. That was her food choice for a health & wellness bible study snack! Suffice to say, I find this all very annoying… not because she eats non-diet foods… I say eat whatever you want! But to eat crappy food and constantly whine about not losing weight? Seriously? And she isn’t the kind of person you can just be “straight” with and be like, “dude, don’t you think an orange juice might be better than Dr. Pepper for the same amount of calories?” She cries at the drop of a dime. I’m at a loss for how to help her–she thinks she has it all figured out. I guess if she really wanted help she would ask for and accept it, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and hope she can learn something as we go.

So aside from all that, I’ve “assigned” everyone the task of creating a health & wellness vision board for our next session two weeks from now. I’m actually pretty excited about doing this… I think it will help me think through what I really want in terms of a healthy & balanced life, what kinds of things I need to work toward, what a well-banced, maintenance-phase ME will look like. So that should be fun!

Other than that, I just finished my 3rd conference of the semester last weekend in Rhode Island–my sister went with me and we had so much fun! She took all the pictures and I’ll post some as soon as she emails them to me.

Aaaand my body is still all out of whack from stopping birth control. I finally did take a pregnancy test just to be triple-sure, and thankfully I’m not pregnant just yet. Just waiting for my hormones to get into a groove again!

Surgery just over 4 weeks away. I’m super-excited to get it done and over with!! And I’m actually very much looking forward to my new boobs! 🙂

Family pictures at the beach on Sunday (clothed of course). That should be fun!