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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Chaos Restrained

Right so my mother is going to have a heart attack if she is reading this. Sorry Mom, just remember I’ve always been a rebel. Luckily I usually have a cause though. So yeah, I decided when I started this whole journey that I’d reward myself along the way with some commemorative tattoos.  My mother’s heart just dropped, I feel sort of bad, it’s going to get worse when she reads where I’m getting it, but she’ll live, she just has to remember this is my life, my body and I get to do what I want to it.

I’d been thinking about what I would do for my 100lbs Tattoo. 100lbs is a big deal, the Century Club, it’s a milestone, and yet, my body is changing so fast and going to keep changing, that I have to consider where I put something right now, and making sure that it’s going to look good later still. That’s important to me. So I decided to go with a spot that really won’t see a lot of change; the back of my neck.

I’ve wanted a chaos symbol tattooed on the back of my neck for years now. Ever since I got the nickname “Pandora” and it stuck and became what everyone that really knows me calls me, I’ve had an affinity for the chaos symbol.  There is a great story behind how and why I got the nickname to begin with, I might share it someday who knows, but when I started thinking about what tattoo I wanted to commemorate my first 100lbs the chaos symbol came to mind.

When you think about it, it sort of makes sense. My weight, food, all of these things have been a part of the Chaos I’d let my life and my heath become. The out of control weight, the out of control blood sugars, everything about my life in regards to food and weight was chaotic and uninhibited, and now, 107lbs later, I finally feel like I’ve begun to get a handle on the chaos, begun to restrain it and begun to understand that when it comes to what is being put in my mouth, what I am eating, and what I am doing for my body, vitamins, exercise, that really, I can’t allow that sort of chaos anymore. When it comes to my eating, my weight and my healthy, I need to practice self control, discipline and self moderation. That doesn’t mean I have to be that way about everything, there is a big part of me that fights against being a self controlled, inhibited, and premeditated individual. But I’m discovering that I can still be that person in different ways that do not affect my overall healthy in a negative manner.

I don’t have to be wild and uncalculated when it comes to food and health and exercise, I can still love recklessly, I can still be unpredictable and spontaneous with my friends, I can still fight against being normal, and none of those things have to include food, in fact they never should have to begin with.

It’s so easy for us to learn to involve food in everything we do. Going out on a date? Let’s go to dinner. Socializing with friends? Let’s go out drinking, let’s watch movies and eat pizza and popcorn. Do you ever wonder why we do that? I do. I wonder why instead of sitting on the couch cuddling with someone and keeping our hands and mouths busy with affectionate things, I chose to sit on a couch next to someone and stuff my face full of popcorn, candy, soda pop, and whatever else I could shovel in. I wonder why instead of suggesting Tea or Coffee and sitting an enjoying the company of my friends, I chose say hey let’s go to the all you can eat buffet and eat all night. I wonder why “rewarding” myself always meant eating something bad for me or something loaded with calories. Why didn’t I reward myself with a new book, or a new pair of shoes, or a new shade of lipstick, a new blouse?

But I’m learning, or should I say re-learning all these things. I’m re-learning that I don’t need food as my best friend, my confidant, or my lover. I’m re-learning that I don’t need to involve food in everything I do. I’m learning to look at food differently, and to look at people differently, and to look at me differently, and each time I define these changes in my life, I’ve taken a little bit of the chaos out of it.

I’ll always be that sort of chaotic girl, I’ll always be a little confused especially when it comes to health, exercise, fitness, nutrition, and my relationship with food, or more appropriately, my lack thereof, but I’m ok with that, so long as I come out of it on the right side, and I have hope and faith in myself that I will.

Chaos Restrained. That’s my theme. For life, for my tattoo, and for my relationship with food.

Post Op Manic Mondays

I’ve never been a Monday person. It’s not that it’s the beginning of the week, because for me, I work weekends more than I work weekdays. Monday is the beginning of my workout week though, and maybe that is why it feels like such a rough day most the time.

This Monday was a big harder than normal. First I swam late Sunday night early Monday morning and my brand new MP3 Player that I got for Christmas went tits up. That sucked. But I scheduled a returned with Amazon and have a new one being shipped out right away. Then it was up early this morning to make it to see my Personal Trainer Suzie at 7am. Let me tell you a 7am workout is HARD.

I tried to come home and get some sleep before I headed out to Vancouver, I had a full day out there, but I think the excitement of the day got to me, all I did was toss and turn and couldn’t fall asleep so I finally gave up and got up to do a little early morning shopping trip at Target. I scored on their clearance racks and picked up a pair of size 24 jeans for $8 and two sweaters for $3 each.  I have this weird thing going on right now, I refuse to pay more than $10 for any article of clothing because it seems like it won’t fit me the following month. Target, Wal-Mart and Kmart are my haunts and I just keep picking up stuff in either a size I can wear or a size smaller when I find a good deal so that my closet isn’t completely empty.

So after getting ready it was time to head out to Vancouver for my post op appointment with the Surgeon, after that I’d be meeting with my Nutritionist and then after that I’d be hooking up with Steven for coffee.

As usual when I have to go out to Vancouver I over estimated the drive and ended up early. The Surgeon always seems to take me right in though even when I’m 30 minutes early. Today’s appointment went well, the scale came in at 288 – that’s a total of 107lbs lost in just less than 6 months and a total of 46lbs lost since my surgery 11 weeks ago. Not too shabby at all. My Surgeon is really happy with my success so far and she keeps telling me that I’m doing great. She loves that I’m exercising my little – ok not little, but we’re working on that, ass off. Unfortunately I had to ask her about this pain that I’ve got in my chest right under my breast on the left side, and she confirmed that is right where my pouch is. After talking about a few possibilities I finally coughed up to the fact that I’d been smoking again, and after explaining to me why that was so unhealthy and why that could be causing the pain, she put me on a medication called Carafate, which basically is an internal Band-Aid. It is used to treat ulcers and in this case she is pretty sure that I probably had a small ulceration in my pouch that was made worse by the cigarette smoking. Basically the Carafate adheres to the ulcerated area and coats it to protect it so that it can heal. As usual my Surgeon was spot on, I got home this evening, took one dose of the Carafate and I haven’t experienced the pain since. She also told me I had to quit fobbing up on the smoking thing. So I haven’t had another cigarette since Monday night.  I’m going to see her again in two weeks to make sure that the pain has been gone and that things are going good.

So after that I was off to meet with the Nutritionist. I have to say this was a fun appointment to go to. I got to see Cathy – my incredible weight loss surgery coordinator, and Anne, my nutritionist. Both Cathy and Anne had both seen me last during that first visit when I had all the consultations and the medical evaluation back in July. I’ve lost 107lbs since then, and the look on their faces when they saw me, was enough to have me smiling for the rest of the day. It’s strange really, seeing someone else’s reaction to me. I see myself in the mirror every day and honestly I don’t see the weight loss, I really don’t I just see how much I still have left to go, seeing other people’s reactions to how far I’ve come already is pretty amazing.

Anne and I spent some time going over my eating patterns, and deciding what I needed to change to help me get a little more energy in there to accommodate how much time I’m spending in the gym. We’re going to start adding back in some complex carbohydrates and some whole grains and I need to remember to try to get some extra protein and carbohydrates in about 30 minutes after I work out. Other than that she was really happy with what I was doing, with my food selections, she thought the amounts I was eating were good and just kept telling me to be really proud of myself and how well I was doing.

Next it was off to the coffee shop to meet up with Steven. I was pretty excited to meet him; this is the first time he’s actually had time to get together with me since we started talking back in October. Steven’s become a pretty big part of my life since after surgery, we text daily and he’s been my Mentor through this whole process even before he realized it. It’s really weird to talk to someone every day for months and never really get to sit face to face with them and see them laugh and smile. So today was exciting for sure. We sat and had coffee and I listened to him recount his last 24 hour nightmare and then in the blink of an eye he had to go and I was headed back home to get my prescription filled, pick up vitamins and find some dinner.

All in all it was a very productive day I got that pain in my chest resolved, I got some pointers on my eating plan, I get to add whole grains again and for some reason I’m REALLY looking forward to making fish tacos! I got to spend time with Steven and I got to nurse a Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Latte… that’s a pretty damn good Monday.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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