Monday, October 29, 2012

I Really Cannot See It

Well, now seems like as good a time as any to address something that keeps popping up.
The other day when I posted my progress pics I realized how much I had changed.

In that post I mentioned that I do not see it in the mirror. If you've ever had a weight problem or an eating disorder this will ring very true with you. However, if you have not really struggled in this area, it may not have made sense.

As of this day, when I look in the mirror I still see every single pound that I have lost as still there.
83 pounds are gone. But they still reflect back for me.
It can be so discouraging.

I grab new clothes when I hit the stores and I never, ever chose the right size.  They look too small.
I have no concept of the change that has taken place.

That is pretty typical.

Thank God for online support groups where people who have gone through this journey can help each other out. If it weren't for them, I would think I was seriously disturbed.

Objectively I know that I have changed. I really cannot see it though. My mind has not made that adjustment.

Some day I believe that it will.
Until then, I will look at the pictures taken along the way.

I thank God for Dr. Roller and his incredible team. I thank God for the changes taking place in my life.

Some day my head will catch up.

Until then, I will do the best I can to see myself as changed.

-Skinny Minny  :O)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Progress Pics - Almost 5 months

Well since I'm a bit stalled out right now weight loss wise at 83 pounds (which is totally normal at this point in the journey), I decided to check my measurements. Those are definitely still changing.
Today is the first time that I have really looked at the before and after pics.
Woot!  :O)
Even I can see the difference here. Though, to be honest, I do NOT see it in the mirror. That is a whole other post!

Anyhoo... here is my picture from the night before surgery - 6/11/12

Picture from last night 10/26/12

Sweet!  :O)


Friday, October 26, 2012

Sometimes, It Is What It Is

More often than I would like to remember, the phrase that has best fit this entire year of 2012 is "It is what it is."

I'm not fond of it now. Mostly because 2012 has been the year of "... what it is."

Here is what I have chosen to remember instead.  :O)

Maybe it is "what IT is." But there is more to it than that.

Every morning that you wake up is another gift of a day that you have.
Some of us woke up this morning (as we do many mornings) with a great deal of pain.
For many of us that pain stretches back as many days as we can remember and forward as far as we can see.
it IS what it IS.
Even the painful days are a gift. They are a gift that many people would love to have.

Life, no matter how complicated and often painful, is such a precious, precious gift.

Do not waste it wishing that it was something different.

Do what you can to change your circumstances. Pray fervently about the rest.

Then leave it in the only Person who truly knows how many more gifts of days you have.

Right now I'm listening to a song that has helped me to focus in on living and Who I am living each of my "gift" days to serve.
Just in case you haven't heard it... take a listen.  :O)

It is what it is.
He is what He is!
So get out there and live!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Life Looks Like Now

I need to have more things to tell you if I'm going to keep this blog going.
I realize that.
So far, my life has not cooperated with that desire.
I won't do another random list.
I think I'll say this.
Before I had my really bad back days I had started to lose weight. The exercise that I had chosen were these DVDs called Body Gospel.
I am 99.9% sure that I saw them on an infomercial late one night. Those things suck me in way too often. It's probably a really good thing that we don't even have local channels now.  :O)

The last few weeks I have started to slowly move around more but haven't ventured into anything too heavy.

Now I'm starting these DVDs. They actually seem to be a pretty good workout.  I can tell you that right afterwards I was super sweaty and now I'm super sore.
Those are usually good indicators. 

It's a good step up from just walking around and they are pretty uplifting.

I have pretty much the entire Richard Simmons library... a fact that my sweet husband is (I think) pretty embarrassed by.  :O)
Hey - I love me some Richard Simmons "Sweating to the Oldies." The first time I ever lost 50 pounds I did it with Sweating to the Oldies 2!  So there.

I actually met him in person once in Fayetteville in the lobby of a hotel - totally random.  He was so sweet to me and very encouraging.

So there was something to write about.  Woo! 

Hope you are all having a great week.
Thank the Lord tomorrow is Friday and I get to spend the weekend with my love.

Good times!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Random - A List Brought to You by the Letter "R"

So I can't think of anything profound or even all that interesting to write about tonight.
I have thoughts just nothing earth shattering.  :O)

So here are some of those thoughts in no particular order.

1 - Skinny Jeans are my current pet peeve. I believe they are a pox on humanity. No one needs to see that. Even really skinny people look ridiculous in skinny jeans. Put them back on the rack. Just walk away.

2 - Somehow I am both overqualified and under-qualified for most things I have applied for lately. I have a master's degree for goodness sake. Ugh... Praying that the economy will see some sharp up-turning sooner rather than later.

3 - It is 11:26 pm and I will have to stay up another hour to take my iron pill so it can be separated from my other vitamins. It's a hassle but I want to make sure it's not wasted.

4 - Today consisted of me being seriously cranky due to being up till 4 am last night. My body hates me and hates sleep evidently.

5 - I don't think there actually is a 5 but I can't have a list that isn't in multiples of 5. I'm weird like that.

Night Peeps

Monday, October 22, 2012

Farewell my Friend, Food, You Were a Bad Pal

My Mom asked me a question today that I have actually spent a lot of time thinking about lately.
How have I been dealing emotionally since the surgery?
I'm a big-time emotional eater. I have been since I was a wee lass.
Like everyone with an eating disorder, (Hi, my name is Gina and I'm a binge eater), food was a constant companion.
It was a false friend. But I didn't know it until it was way too late.

So what does a binge eater who has spend 20 something years eating their feelings do when food can't be their crutch?

She deals.
But she also grieves.

The grieving is a weird part of this journey that no one really explained to me.
I know that things have to change. Ok, they don't have to change.
In a few months I can go right back to some of the worst habits that got me to the morbidly obese category on the BMI scale.

But for me to live the life I want, things need to change.

So I have grieved.

I have moments of sadness when I go to get food and chose the salad over the cheeseburger and fries.
I can still remember the binge high vividly. Thankfully I can also remember the inevitable sickness.

But I still grieve.

My friend food is gone. Yes he was not a good friend. Frankly he was the worst friend ever. But he and I had some good times together.

So I grieve. 
I really wish I could find a better term for it. In so many ways though it feels like a death. I guess it is the death of the old me and how life was for me then.

I will still eat. One must eat to survive.
But food can never take that place in my life again.
Celebration, sadness, victory, defeat, life and death must be dealt with sans the emotional dulling my old friend provided. 

Some day I know that will not make me sad even for a moment. But "some day" isn't here yet.

4 months. 83 pounds. A lifetime of new lessons ahead.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Life - You Should Live It

I need to get over here to the blog more often.
It's not necessarily that I have all these important things to tell the 7 of you who read this blog... actually I think it may be 10 of you now.
But I digress.  :O)
So much of what I put here is for me.
I journal as well but somehow that is different.
There is something about having these words in cyber-land, along with some comments occasionally, that is important to me.
It gives me something to quickly go back to.
So, I'm trying to be more regular and disciplined about posting.
I've said that before so we shall see!

On to something else now.
This has been one of the most exciting years of my life.
It's been all about drastic changes, steps of faith, and life altering moments.
In between those, were about 1000 smaller things every, single day.
You know what never changes? Each of those smaller moments were just as important as the drastic and life-altering ones when all is said and done.
The little moments led up to or built up to the bigger ones.
Life is as much in the minutia as it is in the fanfare.

My "take-away" lesson from that:

Be faithful in the small moments. Be brave and wily. Don't be afraid to take the road that looks a little dicey and scary. (I totally mean that metaphorically. Don't go driving down some nutty "deliverance" road and blame me for it.)  :O)

Be IN every single moment.

It's your life.
Do. Not. Miss. It.

-Living This Moment to the Full - Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Change - Bring It!

I've already started to pray about my word for 2013. 2012 was healing. I should have known I'd need to get broken a bit more to get fully fixed.  :O) 
So far, so good.

Anyways... that's just an FYI for my fellow "One Word" people.

I've been thinking a lot lately about change - that was 2011's word FYI. That is what made me think of my word for this year in the first place.
Lot's of people are terrified by it. I've got to admit that it scares me a bit.
If I am being totally honest though I get a charge from it too.
I love stepping out into the unknown and watching what God is going to do there.
I think that goes back to the journey that God has had me on for years and years.

When you focus so much on God in the "waiting" times, you tend to jump on change like a hamster on a wheel.

Right now my prayer list includes prayers for drastic changes needed in several lives. They are changes that people are begging God for - healing, babies, jobs and much more.

Me - I'm in for some major change. I've been unable to work since January.
Now - cleared to work - I'm ready to hit it up.

But guess what change is not so easy to find right now?

That's right - JOB!

I told Al tonight that I know God has the right place for me.
I just have zero clue as to where that could be.

Change - I'm all about it.
Bring it.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Four Months - The Incredible Shrinking Woman

One of my sweet friends pointed out something the other day that I really appreciated.
She mentioned on my facebook wall that she knew this weight loss hadn't happened exactly the way I would have chosen.
It's something I've thought about a lot.
I've lost a little over 80 pounds now - that's like a 7th grader.
I'm now officially at a number that I never remember seeing on the scale. I actually think it is the weight I was when I moved away to college. But that was around the time I stopped weighing regularly so I'm not sure.
So very not my point. :O)
In 4 months I have changed insanely in many ways.
I'm off all medication except pain (back) and vitamins.
I've dropped 6 sizes at least.
I've changed the way I eat.
But so much of the struggle still exists with how I think.

I am well aware that many people who have gone through WLS gain weight back. Many of them re-start the habits that had gotten them to where they were previously. It is possible to eat way more than you should. It happens often.

4 months out I can tell you that scares me.
Because the surgery doesn't change your head. It only changes your body.
Yes, part of my rapid gain from the last two years came with the pain I was experiencing.
But before that happened I was at least 50 pounds overweight and had been for quite a while.
That did not happen rapidly. It crept up gradually by the choices that I made.
I won't get into the "how and why" of this because frankly - that's my issue.
As honest as I always hope to be in life, I am also always going to be protective of some areas because they just aren't public stuff!  :O)  Some things are just private.


If I had my choice (as my friend Kim mentioned) I'd have loved to take a bit of the slow road down. I would have chosen to try to work through my food issues while working through my other issues.
But that wasn't going to happen for me.
I had been there and done that and things were getting steadily and progressively worse.

At 35 I was on high blood pressure medicine, had sleep apnea, getting ready to start cholesterol medication, and was slowly destroying several discs in my spine.

I was a mess. I was in pain every second of every day.
I was miserable.

I do not want to head back that way.

So at just past my 4 month mark I wanted to get some things down "for the record."
I think this is probably mostly for me. If I ever think that the fight against "old me" isn't worth it, these words are here to remind me.
"Old me" spent a lot of time miserable and in pain.
"New me" is starting to remember what moments without pain can be like... and more will come.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Love - It's Not for the Faint of Heart

I've been re-reading some of my old journal entries over the last few days.
I am so very thankful that I have been at least semi-faithful to journaling since 1994. I always wish I had done a better job. Thankfully I have many, many things written down.
For some reason I was struck tonight by the realization that over the years loving people has just not been a fun deal sometimes.
Ok so I know that it reads a bit weird.
"But we're supposed to love people Gina!" "God commands it."
Certainly He does. We love naturally most of the time because people love us back. God loved us first, so we love Him.
A few years back I wrote in my journal something that was a revelation to me at the time.
Many times for us to really love - we must chose to love.
We must chose to love people because sometimes, ok a lot of the time, we human-type people are just flat out unlovable.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I know me pretty well.
Grouchy Gina
Un-happy Gina
Tired Gina
Not getting her way Gina.
All of those are pieces of me that can be pretty dang un-lovable.
Love is a choice at some of the most critical junctures of our lives.
We chose to love when we look past the sarcastic answer and don't fight back in kind.
We chose to love when the person we love hurts us.
We chose to love when we look to the person behind the obvious hurt or the not so obvious hurt that they carry.
We chose to love when we reach out to the person that makes our stomach curl by their appearance or attitude.
We chose to love in a hundred different ways.
We chose not to love.

No matter the season or reason for it, our love comes down to a choice.
   And even though right now it may seem like an easy choice.
        It will not always be that easy.
So determine in your heart and mind at this moment.
    That when the moment comes
        You will make the choice to love.
No. Matter. What.

Love on