What I learned today–one year later

I did the Earlywine 5K for the 2nd time and what a difference a year makes, Mostly good differences but I am not all that either, as I had previously believed. I walked only once the week before and then I didn’t push myself. I figured since I can already walk more than 3.1 miles and lost 43 pounds I should be able to jog this whole thing. *snicker* Not quite.

This year was cold, the wind was blowing cold, the air was cold and though the sun was shining and it’s supposed to be Spring it was cold. I had my insulated jacket on, my earmuffs on and gloves. I forgot my sunglasses so I didn’t get to do my Yoko impression. I also got there early, carrying protein bars and 2 bottles of Crystal Light in my bag. I wore 2 pairs of socks.  I got my race packet and went to the car so I could pin myself. I forgot to peel the D strip, the little chip that records your time, from the back of my number. I saw it but for some reason thought it was separate and spent awhile looking for it before giving up. I found it after the race, when I unpinned my number from my coat. D’oh.

I wore the tech shirt I got from doing the New Year’s race  and when it came time to line up I hung near the back. They didn’t organize people according to runners and walkers or times, it was just a mass of humanity. I preferred it this way, it made the slower among us feel not so marginalized compared to the really fast and fast.

I started off jogging, a slow cross between a shuffle and trot and realized I probably should have stuck to walking til I warmed up. I felt winded early on, I had peeled off the gloves and made myself keep going even though the cold wind made breathing awkward. I was sucking in cold air and felt snot running out of my nose. I wiped with a Kleenex and the back of my hand, trying not to think about it and to keep going. I trotted until the 1K mark then walked awhile. I walked about 2./3 of the way and jogged 1/3 overall. I could have jogged more if I had started off walking but I thought I was in better shape and not walking the week before was a good thing. But I am not too down, I checked my phone after I crossed the finish line and saw I did it in 42 minutes, 12 minutes less than last year. And I didn’t get passed by any strollers.

Also the tech shirt I got is cool looking but I learned that tech shirts pull the sweat away from your body, store it and magnify it. When I got in my car after peeling off my coat I thought I smelled farm animals then realized that was me. Last year’s Earlywine entry and what I learned then, which I used (more or less) for this year’s race.

https://quichepuppy.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/what-i-learned-today/

Eight miles

I walked yesterday and did over 8 miles. A first, I’ve walked for 2 hrs before but was never sure how far I went since I lost my old pedometer. I bought another and went for it. I could not believe I went this far so I took a picture of it in the car. as proof. I’m a little bit proud of myself. It took me 2 hours and 34 minutes. I think that the half marathon is a possibility now, even if I just walk it I know I can do it.

pedometer

I also road tested this little pouch, http://www.amazon.com/Vera-Bradley-Stay-Tuned-Camellia/dp/B006WKAS8G and while it is cute it was clumsy and in my way. On the plus side it’s big enough to hold my phone and mp3 player. I attached the little clip to my waistband and it weighed down my pants and the pouch kept hitting my leg, which was a distraction. I moved it to my left hip and it did the same thing, tugging down my waistband and going thwack against my side. I tucked it into my pocket and went on. It might work if attached to a bag but not attached to a  person intent on doing some serious moving.

surprised and shocked

I went to the bariatric support group meeting tonight after my walk at the lake. It was held at the dr.s office and the group was smaller and subdued. I learned why soon after; my doctor is closing his office and moving out of state. He’s going and most of the staff is going as well. Their last day is April 26 and he won’t do any surgeries after April 12.

To say I was shocked is an understatement. Stunned is more like it. It came fairly suddenly one of the group leaders told us. He signed the contract with the new hospital last week and he’s out of the office this week but will be back next week. I can’t say I was too surprised, his office has been at odds with the hospital for some time and he did his surgeries at another hospital. I had my surgery at the other hospital, he was just renting space here. They even hired another doctor to run their bariatric department and while he is a competent doctor he doesn’t have the experience my doctor has. He’s done only a handful of surgeries compared to my doctor, who has done thousands and knows about the various and unexpected complications that can arise and how to deal with them. I don’t have the same confidence in the hospital’s doctor.

The staff has always been professional and good about answering questions. I knew there was tension between my doctor and the hospital but they managed to co-exist and I figured they would go on this way for some time. It wasn’t just the hospital the group leader said, changes in healthcare legislation (Obamacare) had some to do with it as well. We were told his office will be taking our files with them, if we want to continue to see him he’ll see us too. If we want a referral to another local doctor he’ll do that too. I am not sure but I think I’ll be making the four hour drive out-of-state to see my doctor, he’s that good. I have an appt in 2 weeks and probably won’t need to go back for another 2-4 months.

If there’s anyone here who lives in the Hot Springs, AR area who’s thinking of having bariatric surgery I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Russell Gornichec. He is an amazing, caring and excellent surgeon. He’s good-looking too, my husband even had a man crush on him. I just hate that he’s being forced to leave but the good people of Arkansas (heck, the bad ones too) will benefit.

Saturday

The Stars are getting slaughtered by the Blackhawks so I’m going to post instead of watching. They’re even tripping up Jagr.

I walked at the lake today for 2 hrs and 23 minutes, taking a different route. I still can’t find my pedometer but figured I did about 7.5 miles, since I typically do a very slow 19 minute mile. This realization burst my bubble, because I thought I was going farther but probably not. The half marathon is in 6 weeks. At my current rate of speed it will take me 4.12 hours.  Most of the marathon runners, people doing the full 26 miles will probably be finished by then. The good thing is I feel fine after 2 hr walks but the thought of a 4 hr walk intimidates me. I’m going to have to do it, work up to it and maybe try to increase my speed. The most distressing thing about today’s walk was the lack of port-a-potties.

I’m not losing weight but my pants are getting looser. Not the tops just the pants. I thought about it and made an appt. with a plastic surgeon to see if I would be a good candidate for surgery. My batwing arms are the most obvious parts that need help but my stomach and legs could use it too. I don’t know what he’ll say or how much it will cost, don’t know if I’ll actually do it but at least I’ll get some answers to my questions. My weight loss has really slowed down but it could just be a plateau, I’m trying not to give up and hope maybe it will kick in soon. It may mean I can’t have surgery, not yet, but I still want to know more.

I finally broke down and bought 2 new bras last week. I bought them at Lane Bryant,  a place I didn’t think I’d ever visit again but I’m an awkward size. I’m still too big for Victoria’s Secret and other regular stores and almost too small for LB. The new bras are 2 sizes smaller than my old ones and fit. My girls are not just lying around, they are sitting up again.  They’re closing the LB at the mall and everything was 70% off. I  think the timing of my surgery and weight loss and the store closing are coincidences. I’m pretty sure.

Wild onions again, they were even better than last week’s and those were good. The church that put it on has this organized and I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. I had to eat it in two sittings and just finished the frybread which was still good after being reheated. After I left the church I went to see my nephew and took these pictures. It’s the first time I got him with his eyes open.

nate1

nate2

 

nate3

 

Bat Baby

I love this onesie.

 

biggest loser

This is probably the most unfortunately named TV show in history. I admit I’m not a regular viewer, I did see one episode set on a Indian reservation at the clinic gym but that’s it. I do know the premise, overweight people go to a ranch, go on an extreme diet and exercise program and lose a lot of weight and hopefully get healthy and keep it off.

I mention this because I saw this online this morning. While I am awed by the changes these people have undoubtedly made and their bravery by doing it on TV I’m more surprised by something I noticed about the women.  I did a little math and I was stunned to find they all weigh about the same as I do,  A couple weigh more but yup, they do.  They look great and they seem happy. I’m happy for them too,  they’ve accomplished a lot. It is hard work and sacrifice is involved whether it’s done Biggest Loser’s way or by bariatric surgery. They deserve congratulations for achieving a life changing goal.

One other thing I noticed was all of them took their after photos in long sleeves and pants or skirts that fell below the knee, The before photos were in t-shirts and shorts. I bet I know why.  Loose skin, once it’s not full of fat and puffed up it hangs there. A friend told me the show pays for plastic surgery after the weight loss and gets rid of all that excess skin. I hope so. I know it’s an option I’m considering now when I look at my shar-pei body. Insurance rarely covers it, unless the excess skin poses a health risk like infections or sores. Mine is not that bad, it just looks gross.

http://http://tv.yahoo.com/photos/the-biggest-loser-season-14-makeovers-slideshow/

Seeing this story was good for me too. I’ was bummed when I weighted myself this morning and found I gained 3 pounds, the same 3 pounds I lost 2 weeks ago. They came back but at least they didn’t bring friends, as they’ve done in the past. My weight loss has slowed, I have 17-21 pounds and one  more size down to my ideal goal. I’m anxious to get there and the idea I may not scares me and pisses me off. I do look better, even if I don’t look as good as the Biggest Loser people. I am healthier and feel better, I’m able to do things, like walking 9 miles, that I couldn’t do before. Last year at this time I was struggling to do 4 miles and make it through the Memorial 5K race. This year I’m going to do the half marathon, 13 miles. I am trying to focus on what I’ve accomplished and how much better off I am now compared to before, like these people. I don’t feel as much like a failure when I see these women who weigh the same as me and how good they look.  I know I’ll never be a size 2, I’m not built that way. If anything I might, at my best look like Pink, with a short, athletic body, smallish boobs  and strong legs, just older.

I saw this on bookpeople’s blog and went “awww” through the whole thing. Other women might like being called cougars but I’m a sloth. Like one worker says, they want to be happy and peaceful. Plus they are cute, smallish animals who do no harm and  don’t do mornings. I am definitely a sloth.

awkwardness

Since my surgery my body has gone through some changes. Besides the obvious, like losing weight and finding certain foods don’t appeal to me any more, there’s been one surprising change.  I don’t want to be intimate with my husband any longer. My libido, which was always healthy, is gone.

This isn’t the first time, I felt this way after surgery. https://quichepuppy.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/smells-and-other-concerns/  But even though I recovered and was able, as BB King said, the thrill is gone.

He’s been helpful and supportive, he tells me I look good and puts up with a lot. Just tonight I came home from work and found he had the Stars-Oilers game on TV for me and he even sat and watched part of it, until he got bored. He also tells me he desires me more now and while that sounds great and might be good news if I felt it but I don’t. My body feels foreign, it looks different and feels different. Sometimes I don’t feel this is my body, that these feelings and reactions are not mine and should be happening to someone else.

It’s not that I don’t believe I deserve to feel pleasure, I still enjoy the same things I enjoyed before surgery. Like reading, rainy days, the color red and other emotional reactions, they’re still fun. Physical reactions vary, I don’t care for the taste of meat any more, especially beef, but if I had to I could eat a burger. It’s been the same with my husband, I’ve gone through with it for his sake, because it made him happy and frankly it got him off my back (both literally and figuratively).  He didn’t force me to do this, I’m not being abused and I did it of my own free will. But this morning I told him I didn’t want to any more and he understood. He was disappointed but knows I’ve had to adjust to some big changes. He even suggested counseling and said he feels we are drifting apart, that this is the only way we still connect.  He said that this is temporary and that may be true but if it’s not then I do not know what we will do.

I remember reading that this aspect of life might improve, that bariatric patients will feel more comfortable being intimate with their partners/spouses. I’ve not heard that patients will lose their mojo but it can happen, I’m proof. I hope this doesn’t scare or worse, discourage anyone from having the surgery. Mine is probably a rare case, it’s probably hormonal and not related to the surgery. Even if I knew before I had my bypass  this would happen I’d still have the surgery. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

I do have to mention one good unrelated thing–I had wild onions last weekend (wild green onions cooked with scrambled eggs) and it was good. No problems, with eating or anything else. A good thing too since we’re just getting into the season and I hope to have more wild onion dinners even if I can’t eat the accompanying fried chicken or pork, Even frybread is iffy though I took a few very small bites but concentrated on the onions. So far so good. If I couldn’t have wild onions I’d be one sad little puppy.