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March 2003

My Journal for March 2003


Okay, haven't updated in a really long time.   Just seemed too hard to sit at the computer for long periods of time, then when I was feeling better, I just wanted to be out and about, visiting friends, running errands.  I feel great, most of the time I can't even believe I just had surgery.   I can't believe I go back to work in a week and a half.

I am doing pretty good, have lost 25 pounds in 4 weeks, but the last two weeks were slow, so I think I am not going to weigh myself every week.  I get too focused on what the scale says in determining my mood and I don't want to do that.  I still have all the old cravings and it's hard to fight sometimes.   The therapist who runs the support group says that if you have a specific craving it's better to give in to it otherwise you just keep eating and eating trying to satisfy yourself.  I have had small bites of a few things that weren't really on the authorized list, but it did get it out of my system.  I just made sure to chew really well and eat slow.  I have only thrown up one time, I think I must have eaten and drank too close together.  Then one day, everything I ate or drank made me naseous.  Somedays are like that.  Water has to be cold for it to go down well.  I miss gulping water down too.  Sometimes I get really thirsty, but it takes so long to quench the thirst.  And I have trouble getting in all the protein and liquid.  I really have to start first thing in the morning and then stay on a schedule to get it all in.  If I am out and about for the day, I get off track and have to catch up at the end of the day.

I did end up breaking up with my boyfriend.   We only dated for about a month, and we probably started dating exclusively too soon.   In hindsight, we should have waited until things settled down in both of our lives before making that decision, but we didn't.  Oh well.   He just couldn't be there for me during the whole process, kept making promises that he was coming over and then wouldn't show up and wouldn't call.  I wouldn't hear from him for days.  I told him that he just needed to be a man of his word, if he couldn't make it then don't tell me he would and at least call when he realized he couldn't.  On top of all the times he cancelled on me before the surgery and didn't call, it was just too much.  I got tired of having the same conversation with him and the relationship was just too new for so much stress.  I realized that I didn't like the way he handled conflict.  If he thought I was upset, he'd just not call, wait for me to call him, so I always had to confront him and I hate that.  I'm not like that.   I am not perfect, I know I'll make mistakes in a relationship, but it was just too much.   We'll probably remain friends, but I know he's someone I can't really count on.   But life goes on and better to find out sooner rather than later.

Well, that's all for now.  Catch up with you later.


So what is going on with me, right now, today?  It's been a crazy couple of days actually.  I have felt very emotional--angry, frustrated, sad.   I am angry that I have to live this life...  my sister (and many others like her, but let's face it, growing up with her was my slap in the face, I don't know who was yours) can eat what ever she wants and barely gain an ounce.   I had to have surgery to lose weight.  What a contrast.   I had a major "Why Me" session with my therapist today.  Not only Why Am I the Fat One?  But more than that.  Why have personal relationships been so hard for me?  Why do I have bi-polar?  Why are emotions so hard for me?   I did have a lot of realization about many things.  Growing up with untreated bi-polar disorder, I always felt so needed, like I was just this big, gaping black hole that was going to suck anyone in if they tried to be my friend.  I think the neediness overwhelmed people.  On top of that, I was very shy too.   So I had such a hard time making friends.  And keeping the ones I did make.  I even had one friend tell me that she could be my friend, that I was too much for her, she didn't have the energy for me.  I can't tell you how much that hurt.   Now I am such a different person, much more evolved, not needy like that.  But I still see myself that way, so that is how I approach people.   And they must sense it.  Also, because of it, I have this famine perspective when it comes to friends.  I can't get rid of any (not even the ones who don't contribute to my life) because I don't have enough.   Not enough, not enough, not enough.   That's how I view relationships.  Keep the bad ones because you might not have any if you get rid of all of them.  Which is not even true.  I do have good friends, friends that really care about me, and yeah, if I got rid of the not-so-good friends, my list would be smaller, but there would still be a list, and that is the important thing.  So I have to get out of this famine perspective.

Okay, now about my WLS journey.  It's been hard, I think I have been off of work too long.  I am getting lazy, sleeping in until noon, not starting my eating or drinking until 3 or so...  the downside of this is that I am not getting enough in.  So I have to work on that.   I have pretty much been an anything goes kind of eater as long as I stick with small amounts and chew really well.   If I say to myself (or anyone else says to me), I can't have this or that, it's like instant sabotage.   I'll immediately want that one thing and go have it just to prove who is really in charge.  So it is better for me to say, I can have whatever I want, but it is better to make my mainstay these certain foods.   It just always works better for me that way.  So, having said that, I have had a few things that weren't on my 3-6 week eating plan, but for the most part, I have stuck to the plan.   I decided that I didn't have this surgery to be on a diet the rest of my life.  I don't need to be a size 6, I just want to be healthy.  I want to walk without hearing my knees cry out for mercy.  I want to be normal, go into a restaurant and have a taste of something and not go crazy.  I know I can do this.   I am realizing that it is really important to chew well and listen to your stomach.  When it tells you it is full, wait a really long time before trying to put anything else into it.   That's important!   I was trying to catch up one day on liquids and proteins and ended up throwing up.  It was so unpleasant.   Well, I felt like I had a lot to say before I started trying to say it.  Now my mind is blank.  Oh well, back at ya soon.


Well, I realized that I hadn't mentioned how much weight I loss, so here goes.  As of last Monday, 3/17, I was down to 325, which is a 31 pound loss in 5 weeks.  Pretty good.  

I also realized that I hadn't really talked a lot about how I got this way, what's my history.. other than a bit on my childhood.   So as I sit here and sssslllloooowwwwllllyyyy eat some refried beans, I will tell my fat tale..  I think I'll focus specifically on weight issues, not on other issues.  I'll save those for another day.  Or if you peak around my website, you might find information on other things that were going on in my life at different times.   So here goes-- Fat Tales, by Janet

As I mentioned earlier, I was a chubby child.   And although I don't think we were literally always on a diet, in my memory it feels like we were.   I don't remember ever not feeling like the eyes of the world were on me when I was eating.  I also don't remember a time when food wasn't a comfort, a celebration, a reward.  I always looked forward to events surrounding food.   By the time I reached puberty, my weight had grown considerably.   I remember wearing a size 18 in 7th grade.   It was hard to find cute clothes, hell, it was hard to find clothes period.   The summer between 7th and 8th grade, my mom signed me up for a program called Diet Center.  I had to go there every day to weigh in (except Sundays) and eat a very restricted diet.  There was no bread on this diet, no beef, nothing that a 13 year old would consider fun or tasty.   I ate the same things over and over.  For variety, I even tried rabbit.   You can lose weight by eating rabbit because there is almost no meat on this little thing.  Takes all your energy just to pick off enough for one bite.   I remember at the start of this, I weighed about 180 and lost about 13 pounds in 6 long and painful weeks.  At the end of six weeks, I was complaining a lot about the lack of variety and my mom agreed to let me try weight watchers.  By this time, I was so fed up, tired of dieting.  I never really "followed" the weight watchers plan, just merely went to meetings.   Never lost a pound.  In fact, by the time my mom let me drop out of weight watchers, I weighed 192.   Not their big success story.   I continued to gain weight in high school and weighed 240 at graduation.   I went to a private school and had to have uniforms custom made.  I actually didn't mind wearing uniforms because it meant I didn't have to look cute and fashionable every day.  This would have been impossible as there were so few cute and fashionable large size clothes at the time, and my mom was not big on spending the kind of money it took to buy them.  Plus size clothes were so much more expensive than regular.  So where as my sister had a pretty large wardrobe, mine was very small.   As an adult, I am a clothes addict, I love to have cute and stylish clothes..   all because of this, I am sure.

Well, most people have heard of the "freshman 15"---for those that haven't this is the 15 pounds that most freshman gain their first year of college living in the dorms.  I went away to college to a beautiful campus called UC Santa Cruz where I lived in an on-campus apartment.  There were seven of us in this apartment, 3 single bedrooms, 2 double bedrooms with a communal style bathroom, shared kitchen, dining room and living area.   My freshman year, I actually lost over 40 pounds.  I was 198 when I went home for the summer.   The campus was so huge, I was walking several miles everyday.  Initially, the weight started dropping off without me even worrying about what I was eating.  As the year progressed, two of my roommates and myself banded together for an "anti-diet".  We didn't diet, we were just trying to eat healthy.   We would combine our resources for different meals.  For breakfast, we usually had fruit and yogurt, for dinner, vegetables and chicken.  Lunch we usually each handled on our own.  Fridays we decided to make special, we would go out together and give in to whichever prevailing temptation was the strongest.  It might be chinese food and cookies one week, pizza and ice cream the next.  Knowing that we had Friday's to splurge, we were usually able to resist whatever tempted us during the week.   The campus at UC Santa Cruz is huge, with lots of wilderness, trees, wildlife.  Walking from class to class was like hiking in the forest.   Also, for other reasons (see the section called the broken mind), I often found myself anxious and restless, walking helped to release some of this tension and anxiety.  I walked a lot that year.

My second year, I lived off campus with one of my roommates from my freshman year.  I was able to continue my healthy eating as well as exercise.  I lived in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, right off of an outdoor mall.  I enjoyed spending spare time walking up and down the mall looking at the shops and people watching.  I maintained a weight between 200-220 during my sophomore year.  What's funny to me now (in an ironic painful way) is how I considered myself to be so fat during this time.   I thought I was so huge, no one could like me, I certainly couldn't attract the attention of a man.   I look at myself now compared to then, man what was I thinking?   I would kill to be that weight, to be that healthy.    There was this one guy in one of my french classes..  he was so cute and so different really... he's the only guy I ever knew who would wear a skirt.  He just didn't care.  I would often find him smiling at me across the classroom.  I was so insecure, I couldn't believe for a minute that he might actually be interested in me.   I secretly hoped he was and that he would make his move, but he never did.  I was so shy in those days that I put a lot of people off.  Oh well, can't go back.

It was my third year of college that destroyed me.   I made a decision that has affected my weight.   I decided to move into this one house where there were three guys and a girl living there.  We all rented rooms independent of each other from the landlord.  The landlord didn't live there, but found it easier to rent the house separately rather than as a whole house.   At first it seemed great, the rent was cheap, we were near the beach.  But as the year progressed, I discovered that these people weren't so neat and clean--one guy in particular.   He would make a pot of soup, eat half of it, then leave the pot on the stove for weeks.  People would use dishes then just leave them on the counter until every dish in the house was dirty and there was no counter space left.  There were a few of us who would try to keep things clean, but it became frustrating after a while as we were always cleaning up someone else's mess.  Pretty soon, I stopped cooking.   There went the healthy eating.   I didn't even enjoy being at home, kept mostly to myself in my room.   Since I worked at a pizza place that year, I ate a lot of pizza.  The other things I ate were Taco Bell and Burger King.  Isn't that a great healthy diet?  I started that year at 210 and quickly ballooned up to 280.   My clothes were stretched tight over my body (those that still fit), I couldn't really afford to buy new ones (nor could I find them), so I just wore the same things over and over again.     I wore mostly mens clothes, sweats and shorts, because those were the ones I found that could fit.  

Well, this takes you through my 21st year...  I need a break, I'll give you the low down on the next 13 years in one of my future entries.