The Little Engine That Could

Friday, January 30, 2009

I think I love you

I went to therapy last night. Just prior I thought it was a very good idea to get some protein in me, so I ate peanuts and m7m's. My own version of trail mix. After 2 handfuls and careful chewing, I got that pressure in my breastbone that is indicative of "I am going to have to puke".

Went to the not quite public bathroom and retched for 30 mins. Stuck my finger down my throat and had this foamy goop come up tasting of peanuts and sweet. As a WLS patient, you don't really throw up like before with amounts of puke-- you are like a cat that has a furball. And nothing feels better than when that crap that is causing the pressure is out.

So, this is time #2 of having regular sugar mixed with protein that had me get sick sick sick. Folks, the pouch is working. It is working. Sugar be gone. It feels terrible to know that I did this to myself, but awesome to say-- that's okay. It's working. Now stop testing the waters and eat in a way that will have you take care of yourself.

I've been writing down all that I have been eating for the week. And I am at about 2100 calories per day. And this was a good exercise to know a couple things. 1) I eat every 2 hours. Not that I am hungry, but that's what I do. Graze. A piece of cheese, a banana, multigrain chips, oatmeal, protein drink, sugar free chocolate bites, half a sandwich, pb and apple. 2) I don't drink enough water, and when I do, it's about 30 mins after the last graze. 3) I drink about 3 cups of coffee a day without even noticing it. 4) I cannot eat 2100 cals a day and think I am going to lose weight.

Project for the weekend and into the week: Eat 3 meals, 1-2 snacks. Keep writing it down. No bites, no tastes. In the "I'm hungry" phase between meals, drink water. Cut the coffee to 1 cup and after the morning cup, tea.

Sunday: Begin 2 week exercise program of 30 mins a day. 3 days Wii, 4 days gym. At the gym, do cardio AND weights. Start working on those muscles. Take one class. Just one.

And then let's write every day. Tell you, my friends how it is going. And then keep on me. If you haven't heard from me in a day, ping me "where are you?".

I know myself well enough to know I cannot be accountable to me. But to you, I bet I can.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Drinking coffee, perusing blogs.

I went shopping last night for bras. As an adult I've ever really only shopped in the plus sized stores. I went back to them to try on the smallest they had. Which fit well, so I bought them there.

The retail sales assistants used to be nicer to me when I was heavier. I asked one why the rack was turned the opposite way-- it wasn't easy to pull the clothes off the rack. And they were jammed. She said that she was following managers orders and that she didn't agree with it as well. When I went to check out, turns out, she is the manager. I pointed that out to her "Oh, so you are the manager?" She looked at me and said "I don't know why people like you shop in here. There are other stores for you."

I wanted to scream back 'I shop here because I am comfortable here. Because I am right on the verge of all of this being too big and it scares me, I have only known these sizes and these styles my whole life. I know how to put together an outfit from your clothes and look amazing, and shopping in the regular sized stores is like walking into the chocolate river room of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. I have no idea where to look, the colors are overwhelming, and what if I pick the wrong thing? What if I go to the river and fall in? What if those sales assistants look at me and ask if I am shopping for someone else? Don't you want my damn money?'

True-- i was being bitchy. It was really hard to pull things off the racks. But c'mon.
I smiled, didn't say anything, and moved on. Maybe she just said it in her head. Maybe she didn't say it at all. Maybe her withering stare will push me to never give them another dime.

I'm in-between. I've been in between for a very long while, and to tell the truth, it's comfortable here. I don't have to be entirely responsible for being a straight size yet, and I can't wear most of the LB things. I hated me when I was bigger-- that girl that really should try another store. However, I am still 100 pounds overweight. So I still have the big girl cred. I don't know if being in-between has me be comfortable or not, it's always just back and forth.

My end point. I want my end point to be 190 pounds. Or thereabouts. That would be another 75 pounds lost. It's not going to make me happier, but it's a goal to achieve. 190.

After surgery, there is still diet and exercise. And dealing with emotions and working on stuff, and being mad that chips are not a food group (I was never a chip eater before) and that no matter how much protein cream cheese has, it's not a meal when it's on a cupcake. I'm a lucky one, I don't dump easily. I in fact try to dump, try to overeat to teach myself a lesson, do a little mental flogging if you will. There is still portion control, and being an adult and saying that's enough right before its too much.

I'm healing. The scars of surgery have faded, but I am still healing. and so I ask of you to keep me in your thoughts, send me good wishes through the ether, and love me as I am. Because right now, it's really hard for me to do that for myself.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday is Gym Day

I didn't want to get up this morning.

I put myself to bed last night after having eaten 2/3 of a pumpkin cupcake. Blech. I felt gross, so gross that I spit out the last bite. I laid on the couch for a while watching Intervention-- love that show. Then off to sleepytime.

It was 10:30. Wow.

So this morning I woke up at 6:45 well rested. I got over 7 hours sleep (I read a little before closing my eyes), and felt great. I was talking myself both in and out of the gym.

I realize that when I go to the gym I make it a huge production. I should instead think of it like running to the ATM, or getting stamps. I don't need all this other stuff-- magazine, water, ipod, lock, etc-- if I am just going for 30 mins to do the treadmill. I'm not going on a twenty hour car ride.

Did my 30 mins. Feel good. Drank my coffee, feel even more awake than usual. Jump starting my day is not a bad thing for me. I have more energy and feel stronger.

No promises on when I am going to the gym again. However it's 13 weeks until Easter. So maybe I'll think of a little game to play in the next week or so. Not that Easter is a really big deal, but it might be fun to be born anew when the bunny shows up.

I'm not playing the de-lurking game. I read about 7 blogs a day, and so I will mention them here: Eggface, Melting Mama, Ammie, She's a Rebel/Saint, Elastic Waist (waa!) and two un-WLS related. I check in on others that don't post as much but love to hear what they have to say when they do. Hello all. Comment if you want, but there is no need. Actually, being a reformed actress, I like not being able to see who's out in the audience past the first row or two. Just clap and laugh when appropriate.

Happy Tuesday.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I don't like being fixed

That sounds strange. I am not fixed like a dog, so no worries there.

I have a friend who gives advice and is constantly telling me how things should be. I know it frustrates me because I do the same thing to other people.

We were having a conversation about her niece who's 12 and overweight, eating out of boredom and although active, not social. My friend is scared that she'll never be accepted because she doesn't dress right, she's sloppy and her fashion sense leaves a lot to be desired. She said "She's overweight and it will just be harder for her to get a boyfriend if she doesn't shape up now."

Now let's dissect this:

She's overweight: yes, she is. And she's active and in sports and not slimming down.

get a boyfriend:
what exactly does that mean? She has to go out and get one off the shelf like a rump roast before a storm? That she will not have the chance of being with other 12-15 year old smelly awkward pimply boys that are just out of video games to the real world of girls? Boys that are more interested in fart jokes and guitar hero than pimply faced, too much makeup wearing girls? Or boys that are so horny that all they want to do are things that no one at that age is ready for-- and then perhaps she can be another statistic, because, well, her family thinks that it is more important to have a boyfriend than not, so if that's how she has to keep him, then she will-- or else she'll NEVER GET ANOTHER ONE!!!!

if she doesn't shape up now:
so, if she doesn't take her loving aunt's advice, she will be forever reminded of her inability to shape up and that is why she is single, slightly overweight, living alone with her cat as the most important person in her life. Like her aunt. Because it will be TOO LATE.

Okay that was bitchy. But I think her aunt sees her own mistakes in her niece and wants to change them.

Have you ever watched the face of someone realizing that they have just said something so entirely inappropriate to the wrong person? My poor friend. As she's going on about this, I turn and say-- you've just described me.

Scene: about 1984, 5th grade, right after school, septemberish.
My mom picks me up from school, I get an ice cream cone at Mickey D's. Mom asks what was going on at school that day-- Volleyball tryouts. Mom is mad, why aren't you trying out, you like volleyball-- yeah, but that is for the skinny girls, the athletic ones. I'm not that. Maybe if I lose weight I'll do it next year.
Mom tells me to get on my PE uniform and we go back to school. I try out and make the team. I am good. I return home and my forgotten cone has melted all over my dresser.

Up until I write this, I was trying to make my mom the bad guy. I just wanted an ice cream, and she punished me. I mean, she did say some nasty things about weight while I was getting dressed, but that's besides the point. What she did do is not make me "wait until I had lost weight" or let me believe I was anything less than. She didn't encourage, but forced me to participate in sports in junior high. And she was right-- I was good.

I was also the tallest, fattest, fastest kid out there. I always started, and I played every game. I mostly wanted to sit on the bench and talk to the other girls, but NO I had to play.

See, i am trying to make my mom wrong. But wow, thanks mom for getting me out there, regardless of the words you used. I have confidence in my athletic ability and always have-- never letting weight keep me back from wanting to do things. And YOU did that for me. It might have felt like punishment at the time, but because of your belief in me, I can do anything, I am super graceful and I am not afraid to be the first one in the pool!

Anyhow, I tell my friend this and she goes white. Then she asks what would have made a difference for me.

1) Mom saying :
"You know my struggles with weight, and I am concerned that you are going to have the same struggles. The body processes food this way (and explain) and we need less because we are not as active (and explain that watching tv/ playing piano/ sitting on the couch expends x calories, while walking/ bike riding/ etc expends this much). And I need your help. I want to be a good role model for you. And I am afraid I have failed. So will you help me? I will plan meals and portions for us-- and it is going to seem like you are not getting your fair share because daddy and keith get more-- but it's because right now we just need less. You and I will have slow races with dinner-- who can chew their food the longest-- and we'll add up the calories we've expended through the day to see where we are. And then maybe we can cook together and you can plan meals.
Sometimes we will have treats. And when we have treats we can celebrate because treats are special. But if you have them every day, it's no longer special. Maybe once a week you can pick the treat you want, and have it, guilt free. And you can enjoy it. I will do the same, I promise I won't hide chocolate under my front seat of the car and pretend it's not there. It's a bad habit I have.
And regardless if you ever loose weight or exercise, I will love you. I will love you any size and any shape and I hope you will do the same for me. Because I am just trying to be the best mom I know how to be, and I want to be healthy and I want you to be healthy too. You didn't do anything wrong, we are just going to do something different and do it together. We are an unstoppable team. And I love you and am so proud of everything you do."
And then stick to it. If it didn't work out after a month, re-evaluate and talk about it rather than forget it.

2) Dad
"I love you. I know it's tough being a kid. Come over here and let me hold you. I miss you when I am on business. I promise I will stay home more. Do I ever tell you how proud I am of you? No, well i am. You make me so proud to be your daddy. You are my little girl and I love you."

3) Keith
"Do you want to go outside and play? I am sorry I made you cry. I promise I'll stop teasing."

That would have made a difference for me.

I guess what I want to say is that I don't like being fixed. And I am sure my friend's niece doesn't like it either. And I guess rather than treating weight and the abundance of it like a problem that is punishable like a crime, treat the stuff behind it- and then solutions will arise on their own.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Taking my Time

I have a new boss at work. Without going into too much detail, she's cool, and I like working with and for her. Still bumpy along the road of communication, but it always works out.

She gives me deadlines for things. I like that. She gives me projects and deadlines, and I meet those deadlines. And I give her enough time to review. And work flows smoothly.

Deadlines-- it's about managing time. One thing I started new this year is eating my lunch off of plates. Sure, I am still eating at my desk (a new trend that I will stop next week) but eating off of a plate with a knife fork and spoon. Making my meal a meal, and not something to throw down. This helps me be aware of the food I am eating. And with that, I take lunch from 12:30-1pm (or thereabouts). It's helpful to create that break in the day.

I am vigilant about taking my vitamins, I take them on schedule-- although some mornings I start with calcium and end the day with iron, and the next week switch it up. Planning has always been important to me. And I realize that i do a lot of things willy-nilly-- as they come up.

That's something I want to change. Take my time to figure out a weekly menu, or a schedule for things I know I will have to do (like laundry, mail, bills, etc). Plan meals so I can eat more streamlined.

The best thing of all today, waking up with James. Smiling, happy, warm James who steals all my covers and his hands are the first thing that wake up in the morning. It's like being mauled by a baby bear. I love it.

Off to work. Still smoke free. Feeling great. Dropped a bunch of weight today. Love it.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Getting Even

Don't get mad, get even.

It's been my motto. Forever. I don't get mad, I get even... "I'll show you" way.
I'm looking at my finances. Not great-- and considering there is no real room for overtime this year, not that great at all. I am going to have to ask for help from mom and dad. I had a tooth pulled last year and a couple crowns that weren't covered that wiped out the equivalents of 3 months salary. They have offered. I will accept. I hate feeling like I can't make it on my own, when I could, but I would just be paying it off slowly. Painfully.

I looked at my bank statement this month-- I have three $10 fees for overdrafts. I called to ask what they were for and this really super nice lady tells me that I need to transfer money so I don't get them again, but she'll waive them for now. Later today I will be ringing up the workplace checking to find out what my checking account benefits are. I left a message for that woman's supervisor telling her that the woman who handled my call was awesome and went above and beyond. That's getting even-- not mad. I could be all sorts of angry, but instead I let someone help and guide me through this, and everything worked out great, and now she gets praise from a customer, which is sometimes better than a bonus.

I challenge you, my readers, to give out the compliments and praise for someone who goes above and beyond in their job. Tell their managers, supervisors. Write letters. There are good people out there that work in customer service jobs and are concerned that they too will be a part of an unemployment line. Your praise might make the difference.

I also challenge you to let someone help you. Ask for help. It's not too hard.

Still feeling sniffly. I'd love to call in sick, but know that I am not really sick enough to do that. I have a bunch of stuff on my plate today and want to take care of it all, and feel like I can do it-- make it happen, so that the weekend can be enjoyed.

Eating well. Staying at about 1100 a day, and walking more. Haven't hit the gym yet, still sicky and giving my body a rest. Saturday begins again. I am giving myself till saturday.

Not smoking. 4 days. And doing great. Feel good, all the toxic stuff is exiting my body. I am looking forward to getting back on the treadmill and running. Breathing really deep.

Time for work. Or at least a shower. My house for the most part is clean and I feel rested. More sorting of crap this weekend-- cleaning out the office. Making room for James. Creating a home.

I love my life today.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I have had a lingering cold for a week. Or thereabouts. Sore scratchy throat, snotty nose, headache. It hasn't been terrible, just annoying.

Yesterday was the worst of it. Also, I was just weepy. Weepy and mad over being a smoker who is a non-smoker again, disappointed in "it's not enough" weight loss, sad that I have to spent my time thinking about what nutrition to put in my mouth. I thought that was all done with, but no, it's like having about a year off from thinking about food. It was a glorious year.

And then James. I'm walking down the street going into work, not smoking, but furiously chomping nicorette (yay me) and I realize something. I am afraid to love him anymore than I already do, because when he's not there anymore, it will kill me. I will be devastated. This is after reading about the woman who lost her finance the day before the wedding to a car accident and other such stories. For the first time, I thought, what if that happened to me, or to him?

It was like a light turned on. You love him so much and are so happy that you are afraid that you are going to lose him, so you don't want to love him expotentially anymore, because right now it would hurt, but anymore love poured into each other it would kill, torture and maime you. You would never get over it. The loss would be so severe that it is better to stop now and not get hurt.

It was like a record scratched against the needle. I heard my own thoughts and that little voice in my head that said Get Out Now.


Stop-- Kimmie time.

WTF? Give up a day with him, give up an hour with him, give up a lifetime to be safe and not feel the highs and lows together? Stop loving him so much to get the security of never having to feel something tragic or beautiful or lovely? Hurt him now to save my own potential hurt later?

I realized something so beautiful. That voice in my head wants to protect me. She tells me to stop loving so much, like she tells me chips are okay, have another drink, try this piece of chocolate, carrot cake is good for you, you can survive without the raise, one cigarette won't hurt, maybe you aren't good enough, etc. She wants to keep me safe from all those things that are too scary, too harmful, too vulnerable, and she never wants me to feel anything but secure. She's a mother to that little girl in me who is scared and looking for guidence. She only wants to protect. She wants me to survive-- that voice created to keep myself out of trouble and tucked away so that I don't make too much of a big deal.

It's too bad that voice clamoring around in my head just got found out. Now I am on the hunt. I'm looking out for her opinions on my life, habits and journey that would have me be safe and secure. It's not that I don't want to be safe, but when I am going through life out of fear of something, and making decisions based on that, I am not living and thriving-- only surviving.

After I realized that, my heart was just filled with love, for me, for James. For the world. For everyone that is scared, everyone that gets in their own way. For survivors. For everyone with and without that voice.


So it's the cold, a little bit. It's also the pride. I am so damn proud of me and what I have done and what I am doing and what I will accomplish in the future. Identifying the voice, a very good step along the way.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Something New

Thanks for the love folks.

Yesterday I went smoke free. No one was injured.
I made it back to work and got things accomplished. Again, no one was injured.
I realized I eat about 2500 calories a day without even thinking I am eating anything at all. Slight injury to my ego.

Ouch. No wonder I am gaining/ staying the same.

So, for me to lose and be in a healthy range, I should eat between 800-1200 cals a day. I have signed up on fit day to track food. I have to remember all those licks and tastes and bites are FOOD=Calories. I eat the equivalent of 1 WLS meal while preparing my meal.

And now that I realize I am doing it-- it's done.

I was on the Wii Fit this morning at 6:30am. I went to bed last night at 10:30pm. I don't feel tired, but instead refreshed. Add sleeping 8 hours to the list of good habits.

This week, I am focusing on monitoring my habits. What it is I am doing. There is no race, I have to get it out of my head that I am in some kind of countdown of weightloss. This surgery is forever, it is up to me to use it appropriately. Why yes, there are so many shoulds, however, for today I am monitoring, doing what it is I know to do.

A year ago I hadn't eaten chocolate. Yesterday I gave away a box at work. Just because it fits/ is at a discount/ given to me doesn't mean I have to buy/eat/ wear it. I can make my own choice, a conscienous choice.

That's what it is, choosing conscienously. Being present to what it is I am doing or about to do.

Lesson for the day, be present. Be smoke free day 2. Be the best Kim I can be.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Begin Again

I would like to say this whole process of having surgery is easy.
Actually, the easiest thing about being a post-op is having the surgery.

Late at night all I want to do is eat. Anything. butter on mashed potatoes, cheese with crackers, sweets, and drink it all with water. Have a few sips of soda, maybe a cookie, some more coffee.

A year ago I got back my hunger. I have been 4 months not being hungry. Now my head hunger has returned, and wow she's pissed.

She's so pissed that she can't be numbed by food. So she tricks me. "Just one bite, these cookies are to share, you need this, this will taste good." She has my boyfriend in agreeance. He is so confused, one minute I am going to the gym, the next I am smoking and ordering pizza. One party I am water with lime, the next I am jack and diet.

I don't have any significant health problems or complications. I shouldn't be bitching, but it is my process, right? I can make all sorts of lists of what to do, what not to do, how I am going to fix the problem. But it all comes down to me.

Weight isn't the problem. I have lost over 100 pounds and kept it off for a year. Food isn't the problem, it doesn't leap from the fridge into my mouth, or off the shelf into my cart. I am the problem. I make choices to not "think" about what I am doing. It's like there are two compartments to my brain-- the one that does everything right, and the one that wants to hide and be sneaky.

So here I am. 270.6 pounds. 1/5/08. My intention is to be under 200 by August 2nd-- my 2 year surgiversary. I have been as low as 262 in June, but have stayed about the same for 7 months. I haven't been to the gym since early November, started smoking, ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted for the last 5 months. And I call that complete.

Today, I become a non-smoker.
Today, I exercise.
Today, I breathe.
Today, I live.
Today, I eat for nourishment.
Today I write to regain that feeling of purpose. Of accountability.

And I thank you. For listening. For being my angels. For loving me just as I am. For not making judgements. For hearing my story.

Today I begin again. Better, bolder, wiser, stronger. Lovingly. No memories of the past, just creating the future that is to be.

Happy Monday.