Cranky c%$#t me

Apparently thats what I am.

My mum reckons I should take some anti depressants, my sister reckons I just have to be nicer to everyone and have discussions like adults (heads up – dealing with teenagers, not rational adults). It’s the good girl message allover again.

I am cranky, I’m irritable and I’m tired. I’m working long hours then trying to be a wife and mother on a Sunday, which includes making a feeble attempt at housework, then trying to find some me time.

What is really going on here – and I’m not sure if it’s me starting to have more confidence post surgery or just peri menopause or a combination of the two is that I’ve stopped being the biddable bitch. That was me. Agreeable, don’t rock the boat, don’t anger anyone, keep the peace, do it all (or do nothing and listen to the complaints as noone else will do it either). Fuck that shit.

I want to have a life, I’m tired of arranging my life to make everyone else happy all the time. Yes, my husband feels threatened. My professional career is going great and I’m thinner than I’ve been in 10 years. That doesn’t mean I have to constantly change who I am so he can cope. And I’m not going to. The adjustment is up to him this time. I love him but being told how to dress, what my opinion should be, and being asked where would I be if not for him, pointing out our ensuite toilet needs cleaning – makes me cranky.

My kids need to pull their weight. I don’t think it’s a big ask to do the dishes, take out the garbage, feed the chooks. I’m not asking them to dust the skirting boards or scrub the floors – just basic tasks because they live here!

And they all need to stop telling me to be less cranky when I just ask them to do something! Then maybe I’ll be less cranky 😉

 

 

 

Flat me

I’m down, flat, not my bubbly self. It’s that time of the year, middle of winter and tax season and I just feel like I need to find a cave and hibernate for a while. I don’t think it’s sleeve related – although the things I would normally do to cheer myself up aren’t options, which isn’t a bad thing. Binge eating crap might make me feel happy but it doesn’t really make me feel better!

The scales didn’t move for 2 weeks and even though my mantra is “be healthy, not skinny” I still felt quite disheartened. Stalls happen and logically I know this and that the weight will start to go again, and it has, but emotionally it’s back on that why can’t I loose weight cycle.  Nearly every second post on any WLS forum is about stalls and how to get through them. It really is an emotional thing for those that have had surgery and then feel like they’re failing. The cry is what am I doing wrong. Really, nothing. Our bodies have gone through major trauma and need some down time and thats whats happening.

Work is nuts. I’m over people and struggling to be nice to people who are rude/ignorant/ just plain stupid. My tolerance and patience are on a very short fuse. By the time I get home, after talking to people all day long, I just want silence and things I don’t have to think about.

Andrew says I’m no fun anymore, in fact a lot of the time I’m a bitch. He seems to think I should be jumping around full of energy but work at the minute takes every last drop I’ve got. My lack of patience and tolerance probably doesn’t help. He is doing all of the cooking and kitchen stuff during the week which is great but we do have 1 adult child and 2 teens in the house who could do a bit more. He’s not great at getting them motivated so when I try he doesn’t back me, ergo no activity.

Andrew hates being alone, he won’t go to the supermarket without company. I need alone time – not want NEED. I don’t cope without some space just to have silence and do my own thing. I’ve always been this way since I was a child. I think this is part of what’s causing tension. He wants my company because he loves me. I want to be alone so I can love him.

I’ll get through this patch. Only a few more weeks of absolute craziness and then tax season winds down.  I have some time out of the office over the next few weeks at conferences and CPD days which will help. The sun will come out soon, the weather will warm up and life in general will seem brighter. I just have to not stab anyone until that happens.

Plus size?

(This was a draft I came across from 2014 and I thought it was worth publishing)

I often wonder about societies ideals of body image. The fact that a woman who wears an Australian size 14 (US 10) is considered plus size is quite disturbing.  The average Australian woman is a size 16 making most of us ‘plus size’.

I’ve always been told I was too big. One of my earliest memories is being sung ‘fatty fatty 2 by 4, couldn’t get through the kitchen door’ – and this was by a parent!

The photo below is me and my sisters. I think I was about 14 at the time and I really thought I was fat. Looking at it now I think I looked pretty normal, although the bikini was a bit small!

3poolladies

I’m am trying very hard to get healthier. I’ve got a jawbone UP24 activity tracker and am aiming for 10,000 steps per day. I’m also eating healthier. My goal is not weight loss, it’s reducing my blood sugars, reducing my cholesterol levels and my blood pressure. Health goals, not body image goals.

As part of my diabetes assessment the nurse checked my BMI, which is 41, obviously obese. I know I need to be healthier so accordingly I would like to reach a ‘healthy weight’. For me, based on the past I reckon this is about 75-80 kg. The problem is that at that weight I’m still overweight. To be healthy and not overweight I need to be between 52-70 kg. I don’t think I’ve been 70 kg since adolescence!

I have spoken to people who have had lap band. All of them have lost weight but it hasn’t made them healthier. Many say how it is easy to eat unhealthy food as it goes down smoother. Others may be eating healthy but feel they can’t eat in company as they have to eat very slow to avoid regurgitating. This obviously has an effect on self esteem and confidence, how is this healthy?

I understand there is science behind these numbers but in reality that’s all they are, numbers. Rather than looking at weight on the scale, body mass index or dress size, we should be looking at overall health. The numbers that we need to be considering are the ones that indicate if something is not functioning correctly in our bodies.

I’m not saying fat is healthy but lets reconsider what is unhealthy. Focusing on body image and weight loss as the be all and end all to a healthy life is setting people up for failure.

 

Disappearing me

One week post op today. Woohoo. I have to admit it hasn’t been to horrendous. The first probably 18 hours after surgery were crap. Pain, nausea, vomiting, and an X-ray swallow test on top of all that made it pretty ordinary but by Thursday evening I was starting to improve.

Came home Friday – spent two nights sleeping in the spare room without my CPAP as the surgeon wanted me off it for ten days. Realised that wasn’t going to work, moved back to my bed Sunday night, put my darth vader mask on and slept like a baby. Without it I wake up every two to three hours with a smashing headache.

Back to work on Monday – managed to hang in there until 4.30pm. I did have a few little lie downs through the day. Then Tuesday I came in about 10.45am but stuck out the whole day with only one 20 minute rest. Pretty proud of myself actually. I could have taken the time off – I’m supposed to have two weeks but with Allison away it wasn’t fair on Toni and Troy to expect them to run the office on their own.

I’m still having some pain but paracetamol seems to do the trick. I’m struggling to get enough protein in through the day. Instead I’m focusing on fluid as I think dehydration is probably a bigger worry.

I hate my bra – even though it’s soft and I’ve got the back as loose as I can it still feels too tight. I’m freezing – last night I had on my black thermal pjs, a beanie (toque for you canadians) ugg boots, and my robe and was only warm sitting right in front of the combustion heater.

Most importantly (and bloody amazing in my opinion) my diabetes is poof gone! I was sent home from the hospital off all diabetes medication. I think this will have to be reviewed by my endocrinologist when I see him in August but my fasting blood sugars are now completely normal with no medication.

The other thing is the weight loss – which I actually find slightly concerning as it’s so much so quick. On surgery day I was 114.8 kgs (241.19 lbs) BMI 40.7. Not quite where I wanted to be as I was hoping for a BMI under 40. Today I’m 109.4 kgs (241.19 lbs) BMI 38.8. Thats 5.4 kgs (11.9 lbs) in a week. I am hoping it slows down at this rate by Christmas I will have completely evaporated! All up from the start of optigag I’ve lost 17.3 kgs (38.14 lbs).

Would I do this again? in a heartbeat. The hardiest part was the pre surgery diet to be honest. Would I do it if I just had to lose weight? Nope. This is major surgery. If I hadn’t had Type 2 diabetes and severe sleep apnea this wouldn’t have been an option I would have considered.

Mind you it is early days and while I’m very optimistic who knows what the next weeks, months and years may bring.

 

Selfish me

Two sleeps to go until I lose 75% of my stomach. I have to admit I had a little melt down Saturday morning. So much of this process is about getting your head in the right place and I am worried about how that will go after surgery.

Andrew told me I was being a very selfish person at the moment and I am. I have to focus on me. I have to get me to the right place before I have this surgery so I’m in the right place to cope post op. So that means I’m not being a particularly involved wife and mother at the moment so be it.

I am stressing a bit about eating properly post sleeve. I have had eating disorders before and know it can be an easy slippery slope to fall down. I don’t want that happening this time. This isn’t about being thin, it’s about being healthy. I’m going to aim to focus more on the health numbers, my BSL, BP, and cholesterol being normal more than what the scales, and the mirror, say. Mind you that’s easier said than done!

Part of this is keeping my eye on the prize which is being able to be more active and spend time with my family. I realised this week that Amelia won’t remember fat nanna since she’s only 6 weeks old.

I’m on a countdown of optigag shakes – one more for breakfast tomorrow then I’m never touching them again. I’ve made chicken broth in the slow cooker and have a lamb, rosemary and garlic one in there now. Something to look forward to post op. My bag is half packed so I’m nearly ready.

So this will be last post pre op. I’ll see you on the flip side.

 

When the negative outweighs the positive

My sister is unwell. She has mental health issues, exacarbated by alcohol abuse.

Every now and again she decides to contact me. Last time didn’t end well. I agreed to meet with her but only with her counsellor present. She didn’t like that. This time it’s my fault – I poked the bear.

She is going through a tough time which involves a court case. I attended the hearing, hiding up the back, hoping she wouldn’t notice. Why? To help our mum understand what was really happening. You see the illness my sister has makes the truth of her words difficult to determine.

I have her number blocked on my mobile phone – so I have control about when she can contact me. However, our office number is public and even though she is blocked on my mobile she can leave messages.

Since she can’t talk to on my mobile she rang the office. Our receptionist was great. I was busy, I am busy. She had to hold for a while then I took the call. Problem was, she was not  well enough to communicate. This meant she refused to even believe it was me. The test on that phone call was her date of birth and I blew it. Rattled by the mess she was obviously in I reversed her month and date – our dates of birth are the opposite of each others 3/4 and 4/3 so to speak. That was it – she decided it was not me and went on about wanting to speak to her sister.

I ended the call, more than a little frustrated. She called back, I took the call and she still refused to believe it was me. This time was worse, if I was her sister – long pause – I would know – long pause – what the big thing was (mumbled). I’ve got no clue if she meant something from our past or her current situation. I did ask her if I wasn’t her sister to stop calling the office, she insisted she would continue. Whatever.

She did continue, to the point that I have had to contact our business phone provider and get her number blocked. My staff don’t have to put up with abusive clients, let alone my family members giving them a hard time.

She’s left another message on my phone, messages on my sisters and mothers phone. She is not sane at the moment, it’s quite apparent. I feel guilty. I can’t help her. She doesn’t believe she needs help. Vodka is her crutch but when mixed with mental illness it’s not helpful.

There is no positive in this story. Her insistence she needs to talk to me is because she wants to threaten me with being thrown out of court if I turn up again and that people like me cause people to suicide. People like her.

I’m not sure what I can do and I don’t know where to get help. Telling her to call Lifeline won’t achieve anything. Her behaviour has long reaching effects. My daughter was in the office yesterday working reception, she had to hear the calls play out.

Everywhere I look for help I get suggestions to speak to her GP and case worker. I don’t have the details of those, in fact neither does my mother. We are left being washed over by her illness, swamped with our guilt for the help we can’t provide, unable to talk to the people that are supposed to be helping her.

For me, I’ll return to my ordinary imperfect way of coping. I won’t communicate with her. I’ll still be overwhelmed by the grief and guilt that pours out of my mother, I will still be incredibly frustrated by the fact that there are no solutions, there is no assistance.

Sometimes, regardless of the relationship, you have to step away. Any positive effect you may have on the other person cannot outweigh the negative effect the relationship has on you.

 

 

Jangled me

Jangled me

I’m struggling this week. Not with weight loss, that just seems to happen. I’m struggling with life.

It’s been a week where a lot of old emotions, hurts and memories have been kicked up. Scars opening, scabs ripped off. Sometimes I forget that life isn’t always easy and that even breathing can be hard.

I feel jangled and raw. Look at me the wrong way and I’ll either burst into tears or rip you a new one, maybe even both. Like a poorly tuned violin my nerves are screeching, scalded by my thoughts.

Everything is just too much and I just want to stop. I need to escape. Escape from clients, family, my own body that seems to be letting me down just when I thought I was giving it better care.

It reminds me how important it is to seek help. Trauma never goes away, it just abates and it is amazing how quickly the fear, sadness, guilt, remorse can resurface – even 20 odd years later.

I’m lucky in that my workplace, while incredibly stressful at the minute, is also full of amazing, strong, empathetic women who get that sometimes you just need to fall apart to then come back together stronger.

And I will, it just might take a little bit longer to get the pieces to fit again.

 

Busy me

Sorry, sorry – I missed last week! It’s crazy time in my office being tax season. At the minute I’m working 10 hour + days and seeing up to 12 people each day for tax returns. Nuts!

Being that work is crazy I’ve let go of my goal of walking for the time being. I am getting a whole lot more incidental exercise. We got some chooks and ducks over the last week so each morning I tramp down the back yard to feed and change their water. Mind you it’s so cold at the moment I can’t feel my fingers while I’m doing it! Also, marching back and forth to the printer at the front of the office and to greet and escort clients to my office so I think the incidental exercise is on the up.

I’m starting to get a little hungry. Not like before where I’d feel like I was going to faint if I didn’t eat. Just niggles and often some protein water chases them away. I’m eating pretty much normal food. Not steak or chops but softer meat and cooked veggies. The only issue I’ve had was some raw cherry tomatoes and I think that is the acid content.

I’m feeling more confident and active. I still get tired really easily – work is draining so by the time I get home it’s eat and off to bed. I’m also finding I’m standing up for myself more. I think when I was so unwell and tired it was easier to roll with the punches so to speak. Now, I’m calling people out if I think their behaviour is not fair.

I can certainly see the difference in my face in this weeks video. I’m sparkly – which I don’t think I’ve been for a long time. Still a long way to go but I am seeing, and feeling the changes and that helps. My 21 year old son reckons I’m looking older the more weight I lose but I don’t care. I’d rather look and old and be healthy than look young and be dying.

Still no regrets 🙂

So 3 weeks down. This week has been ordinary. Eating pureed food which is easy to overeat and boring in so many ways. Not chewing  – just swallowing tiny amounts repetitively until you’re done. I am starting to learn full. It’s tricky when for years I’ve stuffed myself so full was always over full. Now I have to recognise full and stop. If I don’t it hurts!

The scales haven’t moved in the last five days but I really don’t care. I can tell from my clothes that things are changing. a favourite pair of Ariat boots that had always been too tight are now roomy.

I’ve packed up all my expensive plus size clothes that now are too big. I’m not sure what to do with them. A lot of it is suits and work wear, I’m thinking about getting on touch with Dress for Success and see if they are interested in any of it. The other option is a verandah sale when the weather gets better and see if anybody is interested.

I’m still incredibly tired. My goal to walk 30 minutes a day hasn’t happened. I just haven’t had the energy for more than work. I took the day off yesterday and took the teenagers ten pin bowling – then had to have an hour an half nanna nap when we got home!

I’ve started watching Dr Voung on You Tube and also read his VSG book. It did help me realise why I’m so tired. the things we choose for puree are often lacking in nutrition but high in calories. Last night instead I cooked a tiny bit of salmon until it was falling apart and some overcooked broccoli and a brussell sprout. It was delicious and went down fine so hopefully I can focus on some better foods. I also made Andrew and I a green smoothie for breakfast – which didn’t taste like grass!

I’m trying to make Andrew realise as the grocery shopper we don’t need potato chips, lollies, soft drink, chocolate, sweet biscuits ect. AT ALL. I’m getting some pushback as he says I ate them too, and I did, but I didn’t buy them and bring them into the house. I’ve told him if there are no other choices the kids will drink water.

I have to say this isn’t easy – I have been missing food, craving taste and texture this last week. I think it’s partly hormones but I also think a lot of it is head hunger. That wanting to eat for comfort because it’s cold and I’m tired.

This week needs to be a bit of a reset. I need to get better at recognising full, at selecting what food to fill my little tummy with, and I have to get moving.

Onwards and upwards!