They, whoever they are always say admitting there is a problem, is the first step to solving it.
Well, I have a problem, and it isn't a new one, it's just showing itself in a new way.
I had noticed over the last few weeks that I am rarely hungry, and because I am rarely hungry, my mind wants me to believe that that means I shouldn't eat. Now, in most situations that would be a good philosophy, but when you have had a weight loss surgery that removes a portion of your stomach, specifically the portion that creates hunger hormones, this isn't exactly the best route to take. Over the last few weeks I have fallen into a habit of maybe drinking a cup of coffee in the morning or maybe drinking a protein shake (max of about 140 calories, but usually less). By the time lunch rolls around, I'm usually still drinking my protein shake or coffee, so eating just isn't that important, especially because I'm not hungry. So then dinner rolls around, and I'm still not very hungry, so I eat a little bit, just so that I can say that I did, and call it a night. This pattern is remarkably similar to my middle school years when I got down to a size 0 and was anorexic.
So last night I was laying in bed after a discussion on one of my weight loss surgery support groups where it was pointed out that I may not be eating enough, thus putting my body into starvation mode, thus making my weight loss progress slower. I was laying in bed considering this discussion, KNOWING full well that I haven't been eating enough food lately to keep a bird alive (as my Nana Judd would say), and rationalizing with myself that this was a good thing. Really?!?! My explanation to myself about this being a good thing went something like this...
So...I may be in starvation mode, thus losing weight slower. This is a bad thing....right???
but wait, Some of my friends and family members didn't support me having the surgery, and they have told me I'm doing awesome. If I eat more, thus lose more weight, and lose it faster, they will THINK I'm anorexic. I don't want them to THINK I'm anorexic when I'm not....so, maybe it's better I stay in starvation mode and actually BE teetering on the edge of anorexia, than actually eat RIGHT, and lose more weight thus leading people to believe that I AM anorexic.......
Anyone else see the massive flaw in this logic? At that moment I knew I needed to call someone, like TODAY! So I did. I called and talked to the nutritionist in my bariatric surgeon's office first, who is incredibly helpful, wonderful and understanding. We talked through some things and he pointed out something that I found incredibly interesting. Here I am thinking I'm a "slow loser" and that if I was eating better, I'd be losing faster. He said that at 12-18 months out from surgery, with the Sleeve Gastrectomy, they expect you to have lost about 50% of your excess weight. I'm not even 6 months out of surgery yet, and I've already lost an astounding 46% of my excess weight. (for the record, I disagree with their calculations that I should weigh 120 pounds...If I get to 135 I'll be shocked and expect my body to stop more around 150-160 range). He also recommended I get back in touch with my psychologist who I had been working with to see why I was sabotaging myself.
Now, really? me? Sabotage myself? NEVER!!!! Ha, yeah right, I would have a Ph. D. in self-sabotage by now if one was offered. He also said that the fears and anxieties that I am dealing with right now are normal, I'm 6 months out from surgery, and trying to figure out this new lifestyle, new body, new diet, etc, and may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much everything has changed in the last 6 months, which may be totally true. I tend to think that it is far more related to my issues with self-worth, not feeling like I DESERVE to succeed, and questioning whether people in my life will still love and accept me as I continue to lose and find the new me.
I have always said this was a journey, but I don't think I realized just how much of an emotional journey, and journey of self-discovery it would be. So please, be patient with me as I tackle this new life, because I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed. I still don't see much difference when I look in the mirror, but the number in the back of my pants is definitely far smaller. I even looked online today at bathing suits <gasp> bikinis even. I know what size I should/would order, but I don't know if I will have the courage to do so, even if it is beautiful, and I have worked to hard to earn it. It's going to be a long struggle to continue working on me.