Scared Straight (Krissie)

Photo on 1-26-16 at 10.07 AM Hey, I brushed my hair for you.
So there’s a silver lining to every cloud. After my intestinal explosion (made much more bearable by the fabulous nurse) I’ve been fairly terrified to eat. I pushed water and only ate things filled with fiber and then read the stuff they sent home where they said don’t add too much fiber at once or it could make me constipated again. Aiyee!

I would truly, happily, go through the surgery again than have that happen. And it seems only fear of acute pain can keep me from shoving garbage in my mouth. I’m also feeling vulnerable — having to have my shoulder replaced, having my knees get worse and worse so that I’m becoming less and less mobile. And I’m too young for that. Would have been nice to have a revelation 20 years ago (well, actually I did and lost a lot of weight then). But at this point I’m really at a fork in the road (if you’ll pardon the expression). I can do what I can to become healthier and more mobile, or I can indulge myself with comfort food that gives temporary relief and more pain. I can work on the alternatives to eating, and there are plenty of them. It’s a choice. And I’m tired of hurting.

Some things won’t be cured by weight. There’s just wear and tear on the body over the years, and I know that. But the knees and legs won’t ache as much if they’re not carting around as much weight – that’s a no-brainer. It’ll make recovery from knee replacement so much easier. And I’ll be able to go for walks with the love of my life (and shopping with Crusie, the second great love of my life.  Crusie, not shopping.  Shopping’s third ).

So it’s really begun already. As expected, I haven’t felt very hungry since the surgery, and the stomach upset made it even worse. So I’m heading toward Mediterranean plus extra fruit and fiber. I’m going to walk around the house five times every couple of hours as well as doing my rehab exercises, and as soon as I’m allowed back in the water I’ll be going (I’m still not allowed to drive). I’m going to get better, damn it! I’m too young to be so old.

So I’m using Refab, because that’s what I wanted in the very beginning. A place to hold me responsible. Ginger oatmeal, seltzer and black coffee for breakfast. Then Richie will help me shower and I’ll go from there. Shopping at the grocery store before I see my therapist, and suddenly, maybe, no, fuck it, definitely, hope for the future.

I’ll take all the suggestions, support, encouragement, participation anyone has to offer.


Krissie: Morbidly Obese

Photo on 1-9-14 at 8.50 AM So I went for an annual physical, which I can get nowadays since I’m on medicare. Everything was going swimmingly. I’d lost weight, lungs were good, heart good, BP up a smudge but so was everyone else who’d come in that morning, according to Pam, the nurse, which she blamed on the extremely icy roads (and they were). So I got my pneumonia vaccine, and we talked a bit about weight loss surgery. I still don’t think it’s the answer for me, and I always thought you should weigh more in order to really benefit from it.
She looked at my chart, looked at my height (which actually had gone up a quarter of an inch — it all has to do with the time of day you get measured, and said that my overall-shrinking (about an inch in toto over the years, from just under 5’7 to just under 5’6, tips me over into the morbidly obese BMI.
That’s such a horribly term. And by morbid I don’t think they mean large and depressing and gloomy, which it is. I think they mean life-threatening. And I’d felt so good about changing my eating habits!
I was 241.1 today (I think that was what I was last time I weighed, or maybe I was 241.3. Anyway, I’m not going to bounce back up after this quick drop — now I’ll just settle down to lose slowly, I suppose. Which is 8 pounds, not 10, since I started a week ago, which is pretty good (my math skills fluctuate). I’m not feeling tempted by the things I shouldn’t eat, so that’s a good thing.
Still, that M.O. thing really gets to me. I’m sure I was much more so when I was an inch taller and thirty-five pounds heavier, but no one ever said the words.
Anyway, I’ve been following my program. Down to one Tab and maybe a Diet ginger ale later in the day, but pushing the water. No goldfish or bread or crackers. Need more fruit but I need to go shopping for it, but yesterday I went and swam and loved it. So the year has started well, with no food temptations whatsoever and ready to exercise.
I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get down from the M.O. definition (shudder). But since I just bumped over the edge because of my height I think it’s easy enough to bump below. We’ll have fireworks when we get to that point.
I want to remake my life in so many ways, physically and financially and professionally and healthfully.
Release was my world. Release the old body, the only food-crutches. I’m ready to boogie.

Krissie: Good Wolf Lunch

images-15 So we’re taking lunch literally again. 243 on the doctor’s scale today (241.5 nekkid at home). But I’ve been trying for a few days. Using My Fitness Pal on the ipad — super easy and I really like it. Been going over my limit, so that in five weeks I’d lose 9 pounds (ugh) but I’m getting more organized again.
1. No fried foods (I was out and so tempted. Some fried foods would have fewer calories than the healthy choices I made. But no fried foods.
2. A glass of water for every beverage (Tab, Diet ginger ale, lemonade, etc.). I’m still down to mostly one Tab a day, sometimes two if I’m tired.
3. More veggies, more veggies, more veggies.
4. Do not make excuses at Crusie’s. No pancakes and fries with gravy etc. Those things won’t disappear. At some point I can treat myself. But right now, nope.
5. No sugar. No morning glory muffins or doughnuts or cookies or … anything. I can get sweet stuff from fruit.
6. Start swimming again

Here’s the deal. I had borderline ovarian cancer six year ago. They scheduled a hysterectomy in 5 days and the doctor was convinced it was bad. Fortunately it hadn’t popped yet, but I’ve been getting follow-ups like crazy. I’m down to only twice a year, I’m good with mammograms and colonoscopies and breast exams and pelvics and CA 125s etc. But I’ve been feeling pressure and uncomfortable, and my CA 125 was up just a smidge (well below normal). But I had a … not so much as a bad feeling, but a more of a sense that I better watch things. The strongest I’ve felt those warning signals since I had the original surgery. And the doctor said it was a little hard to feel things when she did a bi-manual. Of course it is. I have so much pudge there that if there’s a growth there’s no way to feel it. So (thwap!) with the Salmon of Correction. I ache all the time from dragging this weight around, I don’t fit my old clothes (too big) and I don’t fit my new clothes (a little too tight). Enough is enough.

I always look at fall as a time of new beginnings. I’m nesting. I’m cleaning out my office, we’re going to Lowes and Home Depot to buy paint and a new front door and hand rails and handles and all sorts of things.

So I would say I need my slavering, devouring bad wolf locked in a kennel, but you know, that’s not true. We need our bad wolf as well as our good one. To balance us out. We’re all part devouring self-destruction and glorious redemption (I know I’m hyperbolic but that’s the way I roll).

So my bad wolf is on strict rations, while my good wolf is enjoying salads and avocados and applesauce and water. Bad wolf is whispering “you need comfort” and “one little bag of chips won’t hurt” and “there’s nothing here to eat.”
Good Wolf says “suck it.”

What have you guys been battling? Are you ready for the Great Fall Renaissance? I’ve pumped and ready to do this thing!

Krissie: Bad Wolf Lunch

Photo on 8-23-13 at 9.56 AM Goddammit! That’s what I’m gonna look like if I don’t stop eating. Mind you, I was relatively good yesterday. I had one breakfast bar in the morning, when we went to Applebee’s I had a 4 oz. sirloin and a salad, when we came back I napped, had a couple of pretzel sticks, some watermelon, and then a frozen dinner with meatloaf, gravy and mashed potatoes! Damn damn damn. A couple of breakfast bars before I went to sleep because I had a craving for something sweet.
The bad wolf loooooves to eat. You know, if he really ate my liver like in Prometheus Bound at least I’d lose a few ounces. Not that I’ve been on a scale. I’ve just been eating.
Oh, it could be worse. I chose Applebees instead of Kathy’s because I knew I could get a good salad there. I didn’t buy the box of Madeleines that kept winking at me during the long wait in the checkout line at Walmart. (We had to buy a new remote control). But damn, Bad Wolf shoves food in front of me and nods approvingly while I show down, his jaws slavering, knowing I’m going to be a nice, plump morsel when he finally devours me whole.
Okay, now the Good Wolf is trying to be heard, but she’s got a smaller voice. She’s telling me I did NOT buy those Madeleines, when in the past I would have, and eaten them all. I didn’t buy chips, or take any that Jenny offered. I’d say I’m too hard on myself, but when you’ve been slipping and sliding you need to be hard.
Why do we love food so much? Why is it such a comfort? Is it because it’s the first comfort we know in life after being summarily yanked from the safety of the womb? Is it worse for those of us who didn’t have much mothering, or had a lot of chaos in our childhoods?
I don’t think so — so many people are struggling with eating and I’m assuming (wrongly, perhaps) that more people come from stable homes than don’t.
I think I need to learn to sit down at the table with the Bad Wolf and the Good Wolf and make my own choices. Good choices.
Or maybe I need my mouth wired shut.
You know, everything in my life is going well, so I find something small to fuss over. Yes, my health is important, it’s not small, but I’m also not out of control. Let me introduce Good Wolf:
“Okay, Krissie, you brat, remember yesterday? When a weird looking photo suddenly appeared on your iPhone and it looked like a hurricane photo. And then you saw it came from Erin and you looked closer and it was a sonogram of your grandchild?
Remember Eulalie the Glorious, who greets you with a happy ‘hello’ when you turn her on and gets 36 miles a gallon plus? Remember Richie, who misses you, the yarn, Alex, the book, … remember everything? Stop listening to the Bad Wolf — he’s full of shit. You’re aware and trying with the food, and life is glorious. Now shut up.”
Which I will.

Barbara: Love Thyself

I’ve been reading Mary Oliver lately. Her poetry is grounded in the natural world, and the wisdom that conveys.  One of her most beloved poems is Wild Geese, which begins:

Sweet peas from my garden

Sweet peas from my garden

“You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.”

Sometimes when I read this, it makes me cry.

I have a friend I meet for coffee after church most Sundays.  We’re both metaphysical adherents, and we go to Unity in the Rockies, which my son Miles calls “hippie church.”

Anyway,  a few weeks ago, Heather and I both wearied, all at once, of the endless push toward “bettering” ourselves.  You know, trying to be wiser, kinder, more prosperous, skinnier (me), and have a better job (her).  So last week we agreed to embark on a program of simple acceptance.  I won’t divulge her goals, but my only task was to accept myself as I am, right now, in this very minute.  No making resolutions, no giving up all the bad foods and drinks, no battering myself to go to the gym even if I didn’t feel like it or go to bed early or get up early or anything else.  Continue reading

Krissie: Oh Shit

Photo on 2013-07-02 at 09.04 #2 That expression is because all my clothes are tight and it’s my own damned fault and I haven’t gained everything back but I’ve gained enough that I’m uncomfortable and I’ll deal with it.
I’m not sure how it started. How things began to slip.
Well, part of it was most likely my mother’s death, and right now I’m dealing with the first anniversary of her death. Dealing with regret and guilt and acceptance and sorrow, both for her and for the loss of my entire original family, which was already never enough for me (I need family). So today is not about beating myself up, it’s about wondering why.
So, I had reached a plateau in my weight loss, figuring out what I was doing wrong (too many yummy additives to the salads, too many goldfish), and then I think my mother’s death stopped the weight loss. I wasn’t gaining, but I wasn’t losing and I couldn’t spend energy worrying about it.
But come the fall I started indulging. I can blame Kathy’s Restaurant (best diner in the world) for at least five of the fifteen pounds I gained back. I’ve gone back to the occasional fast food stop, though I’ve definitely stopped the french fries part. I’ve been drinking tons of diet soda. I may have gone down to one Tab or Diet Coke for most days, but then I fill in with diet ginger ale, which kind of defeats the purpose.
I’ve been eating candy on occasion. Only when I find white chocolate versions of traditional candies (Kitkats, Reese’s peanut butter cups, M&Ms) because I don’t like chocolate (sacrilege!). Since I don’t like chocolate I’ve never had a candy problem, and even indulging when I saw the good stuff wasn’t a huge problem. Just one more — I was gonna say nail in the coffin but that’s too negative.
Haven’t been able to swim much in the last year. Couldn’t afford the membership at the pool or the gas to drive there (25 miles away) or the time going back and forth. So I wasn’t getting exercise and that was making me turn to food even more.
I also had a stressful living situation which I still have to resolve (we have to get Tim out of the house and on his own), which makes me turn to food.
There are probably other triggers. I haven’t been going insane — I may have developed an affection for morning glory muffins and corn bagels, but most of the time I haven’t indulged. I haven’t been going on binges or stuffing, I don’t think I’ve touched potato chips (or any kind of chips) or cookies or the usual binge kind of thingss.
So first off I need to figure out how to get through the next two weeks, past the difficult anniversary. I don’t want to beat myself up, but I don’t want to give myself permission to pig out. That will just make me feel worse.
I’m also pretty sure I’m sensitive to gluten. Yes, it seems like that’s the diagnosis of the day, and I’m not intolerant. But I have all the common gut symptoms, energy symptoms, and quite simply, if I pig out on straight starches like crackers or bread my stomach will ache, which made no sense to me.
So I need to come up with a plan. Because I’m uncomfortable in my clothes, I have no energy, and I don’t feel good.
Any suggestions? I’m an emotional eater and I’ve got a lot of emotion going on right now. Am I right to hold off until I’m past the anniversary? Or should I slam down on myself right now?

Krissie: All About You

Photo on 2013-05-20 at 07.57 #3 Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, she warbles happily. The book is done, and off. A huge weight is off my shoulders.
Unfortunately a huge weight is on my stomach. And butt.
Yeah, I’ve been eating, non-stop. No holds barred. Yesterday I had a muffin, four apricot scones, a couple of bratwursts, some goldfish pretzels. Ah, a health food diet.
Full disclosure time. I don’t want to tell you what I weigh. I don’t, I don’t.
Maybe I’ll tell you tomorrow. It could be worse. Sigh.
So here’s my plan. We’re going down to Crusie’s this week to pick up her extra set of lawn furniture — yippee!!! I have such plans for my outdoors this summer.
But this week I’m concentrating on food, first and foremost. And feeling better. So here’s the deal:
No dairy. As in, zero. I eat pizza and cheeseburgers and spaghetti with cheese without lactaid, and I think even those small amounts wreak havoc on my digestion. so I’ll avoid them completely. Of course, the day before I head out on a trip is unreasonable, so I think I need to do my best till Thursday and then hunker down.
The other thing I’m cutting back on is gluten. I did cut out all gluten for a couple of weeks and didn’t notice any change, but I’m guessing I’m sensitive to it. If I stuff myself with crackers and bread I an get a pain in my stomach. Might just be from stuffing myself, but I think cutting back on gluten (or even cutting it out) might help.
And it’ll force me to bulk up on the veggies and fruits.
And of course, back to my original plan. No fast food, no fried stuff, etc. In fact, if I cut way back on gluten I’ll really be doing a lot better, and it’s easier to think of it that way. Not cut carbs to two a day, but cut gluten.
So anyway, that’s my plan, but since I’ll be on the road Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so I’ll just have to do my best. More about that tomorrow. In the meantime, what’s on your agenda?