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Why Weight Loss Surgery?

My friend Jessica at Bariatric Beginnings wrote a blog today called Why Weight Loss Surgery. It addresses the seemingly common occurrence of WLS patients being told that by having weight loss surgery they took the easy way out.  Jessica discusses the process to surgery, she explains that for many we are taking our lives back…  I’ve decided to elaborate a little bit…

IMG_2353Hi I am Pandora; I used to weigh 420 lbs.

The first time I can remember being abused I was 4 years old.

My Family was one of the paradigms for “dysfunctional family” – My real mom was 14 when she had me. She tried to kill me, gave me to her older sister to raise instead. I was molested by my then grandfather, who molested someone else in my family before me, and my entire family knew about it and my grandmother married him and they all let him have access to me knowing what a monster he was.  Several of my aunts and uncles where junkies, my mother was emotionally, physically and verbally abusive and by the time I was 14 I was trying to commit suicide on a regular basis because I was so tired of fighting to live.

I credit my High School sweetheart, a boy named Chris Hanna that will likely never see this, with the fact that I made it out. Him showing me that someone could love me, and that there was a chance that someday someone could love me that had a normal and healthy family that would accept me and that I could be a part of instead of mine and his mother Sandy, a high school principal that saw a girl drowning in her family and showed me that there was a way out, are probably the only reason I decided to stand up and take my life back from what had been done to me.

Food had been my coping skill in a childhood of misery. Some of my best childhood memories are of eating cereal in front of the TV alone in the morning watching cartoons and sneaking Dr. Pepper and Ding Dongs late at night.  But you know the first time I remember food being my friend. Was when I’d visit my grandmother’s house and after something horrible had happened to me, I’d get an ice cream cone or some money to walk to the corner and get a donut.

By the time I left home and got on my own I was over 200 lbs  Next I went through my abusive men cycle. First I picked a boy who convinced me I should do crystal meth to lose weight. After I saw the bottom, and I do mean the bottom of the meth head phase, I moved on to the next one; the physically abusive boyfriend. But you know, I was so full of my own self-loathing then that I didn’t really care if he abused me, I was so mentally ill at this point that I had turned to self-mutilation and some guy beating the piss out of me wasn’t such a bad thing in my head space. It took a hospital psychologist forcing me to see a therapist, to get me to my next phase, a diagnosis of Dissociative Identify Disorder.  It took me about 6 years of therapy, being put in hospitals over and over again, months and months of inpatient programs and a really damn good doctor, to get past this part.

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But food was still my only real friend and now I weighed 420lbs. So I decided to try to tackle it. I tried weight watchers, I tried Jenny Craig, and I tried Calorie Restrictive diets nothing worked. I’d lose some, gain it back, lose some gain it back and I was always hungry, I always felt my stomach growling and I never felt satisfied. I did Atkins, lost 195lbs, got married, went back to eating like a normal person, you know some carbs, and I gained it all back.

I chose to have gastric bypass surgery when my 83-year-old father came to me and told me that he was scared he would die without knowing that I would have a happy and healthy life. I decided to have gastric bypass when I realized that I was scared I was going to die before 40. I decided to have gastric bypass when I realized that because my family treated me so bad that food was where I found love and comfort, I had always used it that way, and really I was killing myself with food. I was still allowing what they had done to me to drag me down and stop me from living my life.

And once I made that decision I did all the things my friend Jennifer wrote about. I struggled with insurance I did all the pre-op requirements… and before I could even have my surgery I had to lose 70 lbs on my own so I was not a death risk. I did that. And for six weeks before my surgery I gave up food completely and drank only milk.

And let me tell you what I did AFTER my Gastric Bypass

I became an avid exerciser. I started to learn about food and nutrition since I had never been taught. I followed all the new super restrictive rules I had agreed to follow in return for a CHANCE that MAYBE I could lose the weight and keep it off and get a chance to live my life.

10152012 008And after I had lost the weight, then I stood there looking in the mirror and all I saw was all the skin that hung off me, made me look old, worn, ugly, and… abused. Yup, I saw all that skin as remnants of my abuse. It was like even still no matter how much I fought to overcome one thing there was something else there to told me back that I still tied to my abusers.

So I spent a year of my life dedicated to cutting it off.

For the first time in my life I look in the mirror and I feel GOOD about myself. I feel like I see ME for the first time instead of seeing a broken woman still trying to recover from being a broken little girl. And for the first time in my life, I won’t allow anyone else to break me.

There isn’t one thing about my life or any decision I have made that has been easy.

Why gastric bypass? Because I deserve to live my life as much as you deserve to live yours.

And if I ever hear someone actually say that gastric bypass is an easy way out…  I’m going to smile and… educate them.

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CHIKE gives me the confidence to make a 2013 Protein Goal

Alright my friends. 2013 is here and I have promised myself that this will be the biggest year yet for me. I’ve made goals and resolutions. One of my big personal goals this year is to make sure that I incorporate more Protein drinks into my routine. Protein drinks are really important for me when I am exercising hard. When I start really pushing it in the gym I NEED that protein drink each day or I start feeling lethargic and fatigued.

IMG_1570Now let me tell you two the two biggest obstacles I have with this goal.

  1. I hate the taste of protein drinks.
  2. I am protein drink retarded, or spoiled, depends on how you look at it.

I have never tasted a protein powder that I could actually take out of the package, mix and drink and here is the key…. actually enjoy!  I have never successfully made a protein shake that I liked, not from a recipe, not from my own creation.

I’m two years and three months post op and the only protein shakes I have ever enjoyed the taste of are ones that my Hunnie makes for me. I’ll get handed this huge 7-11 big gulp size protein shakes that take me nearly two hours to drink and it will taste delicious and I’ll ask what is in it and it is usually a combination of: non-fat milk, ice, Splenda, some sort of fruit, and some sort of additional flavoring like a Torani Sugar Free syrup flavor. They are always amazing. Once in a while there will be a piece of sugar-free candy blended up in it as well. All things that I would think to put in a shake, but when I do it, it comes out horrible.

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Now all that said.. for me to make a resolution that i believe I can commit too, where I will actually try to drink a protein shake every day that I exercise this year I knew that I needed to be able to have a protein option that I can actually make myself. So let me introduce to you the reason that I was confident enough to make this new goal….one word. CHIKE

CHIKE has shocked me. I have used ONE brand of protein powder for nearly three years now, I’ve been doing protein shakes since early pre op. Back in the summer of 2010 when I was working towards meeting the pre-op requirements for my Gastric Bypass I ordered sample packs from most of the major protein powder companies that were out. I tried flavors and flavors and repeatedly I took a sip, wrinkled my nose and shook my head. I’d drink it to get the protein I needed in but I hated ever moment of it. When I finally realized that hey, I just hate the taste of protein, I settled in on a cheap protein powder that I could buy in mass volumes at Costco, bought two flavors, vanilla and chocolate and dressed it up with other stuff so that it was passably drinkable.

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That said I like protein shake like I like my coffee, dressed up, fancy and fun. I don’t go to Starbucks and order a regular coffee. I get a latte, steamed milk, usually flavored. I like my protein the same way. I like it mixed with milk not water, I like it dressed up and spruced up. But my base is ALWAYS vanilla or chocolate.

When CHIKE sent me a sample basket of their Protein Powders the first thing I did was roll my nose at the banana and orange flavored ones they included. I decided to use the banana first, just to get the most disgusting sounding experiment out-of-the-way. I decided to go for a little Pina Colada type thing, added some coconut meat, non-fat milk, Splenda and some Sugar Free Coconut Syrup blended it up with the Kitchen Aid Handheld Mixer I got for Christmas and … Holy cow it tasted better than the protein shakes I like to order at Jamba Juice when I’m out.

in fact it was so good that I decided to get a little bit brave and try the Chocolate flavored one on its own. Well relatively. I added a cup of non-fat milk, a cup of ice, and a tablespoon of Splenda. I whizzed it up in my Ninja and the first drink I took had this taste, the kind that you title your head to the side over and kinda go hmm, this reminds me of something, what is it. It took me three drinks before it dawned on me. It reminded me of a Wendy’s Frosty. Now I haven’t had a Wendy’s Frosty in years, I might not accurately remember what they taste like, but THAT is what it reminded me off and it was delicious. I used to get Frosty’s at Wendy’s anytime we ate there. I used to dip my french fries in them, I loved them.

8148911255_fc780b6108Now I will admit, CHIKE had already won me over. When I met Remy and Jason at the CHIKE Booth at the OAC Convention last October they really impressed me. And their Iced Coffee Protein Drink, is by far, my absolute favorite. I tasted it for the first time at the Convention and I’ve been in love ever since. If I could afford to order a daily supply I would! I could live on this one alone.

I have been searching and searching for a protein powder that I really liked. Not one that I could tolerate, but one that I would look forward too. Along comes CHIKE Iced Coffee Protein that makes me feel like I’m enjoying a Starbucks Frapachino ( something else I haven’t had in years ) and a Chocolate Protein powder that makes me feel like I’m having a fast food restaurant milk shake. And they are HEALTHY.

DSS5StarI’ll be putting in my order for a tub of CHIKE Chocolate Bliss protein just as soon as I finish making my way through the ginormous bag of chocolate protein powder I bought at Costco. But in the mean time I’m gonna order myself 15 packets of the coffee, at least I can have the good stuff once every other day until I get through the good old sandy and can do a full fledge switch over.

But CHIKE has me. I’m a new loyal fan. I can honestly say that there are a lot of things I have desperately been looking for during my weight loss surgery. I may still be desperately seeking slender, but I am no longer desperately seeking a good protein powder. I LIKE CHIKE. In fact I like CHIKE so much that i want to share my love with you. Would you like to try my favorite protein powder? CHIKE is willing to send one Desperately Seeking Slender reader the same sample pack they sent me, including the nifty CHIKE Blender Bottle! Be sure to enter the Desperately Seeking Protein Powder Giveaway that starts tomorrow!

CHIKE Protein definitely gets 5 Stars from Desperately Seeking Slender! And that says a lot coming from a woman who has disliked protein powders for nearly three years now.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

This is #MyBariLife

BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
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